Amor est vitae essentia
L’amore è l’essenza della vita
Love is the essence of life
(Pliny the Younger)
Pliny the Younger (61-113 AD): nephew of Pliny the Elder, author of The Natural History who died during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Pliny the Younger was an author and magistrate in what is now Turkey under Emperor Trajan. 247 of his letters to friends and the Emperor Trajan survive that offer a remarkable insight into the Empire including the first reference to Christians.
Moral: Unlike the Roman poet Catullus (84-54BC) noted for erotic love poems, Pliny’s dictum offers a moral compass for the young that counsels behaviour beyond passion to an understanding of love as the wellspring of all good actions.