The Tears of Things

Leithart.com | Tears of things

…in those tears Virgil expresses the the painful recognition – perhaps just beginning to dawn in the Roman period – of the costs of a peace won through the blood of victims. Those tears express the sense of waste of pre-Christian civilization – the waste of defeated victims every bit as noble and skilled as the victors, the waste of a thousand thousand sacrifices, the untold gallons of blood shed on earth.Aeneas’s tears are tears of despair, but their despair hopes toward a peace that will pass human understanding. These tears do not take how the world goes for granted, as a simple given. They have been touched by a vision of a world at peace, and long for more. These are the tears of things, the tears of empire and temple, that John tells us will be wiped from every eye.

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