Atque ubi colitudinum faciunt pacem apellant.
"They create a desolation and call it a peace."
Calgacus quoted in Tacitus' Agricola

"Robert Graves and the Twelve Caesars"
by Gore Vidal

Siege of Jerusalem, AD 70
by Flavius Josephus

"There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell. You can bear this warning voice to generations yet to come. I look upon war with horror."
William Tecumseh Sherman
August 11, 1880

"Take my word for it, if you had seen but one day of war you would pray to Almighty God that you had never seen such a thing again."
ArthurWellesley, Duke of Wellington

by Wislawa Szmborska

After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won't
straighten themselves up, after all.

Someone has to push the rubble
to the sides of the road,
so the corpse-laden wagons
can pass.

Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.

Someone must drag in a girder
to prop up a wall.
Someone must glaze a window,
rehang a door.

Photogenic it's not,
and takes years.
All the cameras have left
for another war.

Again we'll need bridges
and new railway stations.

Sleeves will go ragged
from rolling them up.

Someone, broom in hand,
still recalls how it was.
Someone listens
and nods with unsevered head.
Yet others milling about
already find it dull.

From behind the bush
sometimes someone still unearths
rust-eaten arguments
and carries them to the garbage pile.

Those who knew
what was going on here
must give way to
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.

In the grass which has overgrown
causes and effects,
someone must be stretched out,
blade of grass in his mouth,
gazing at the clouds.