Mire quotes from Antiquity
(for convienence common english names of authors and works are used):
"Enki shouted: "by the life of An I demand: lie down in the reeds, lie down in the reeds: it will be a pleasure!"
(from the Mesopotamian legend of Enki & Ninhursag)
"Greetings, Field of Rest! Greetings to the vegetation... that is in you, the clean growth therein!"
(from the ancient Egypt Pyramid texts)
“He advanced to attack, and the men of Chlat pressed him. His horse got caught in the reedy marsh of Tschechur. With difficulty he crawled out of the bog and reached the waters of the Lochur.”
(From an ancient Armenian text)
“The general’s night was disturbed by a disturbing dream: he saw Quintilius Varus rising – covered in blood - from the mire, and heard him calling. But he refused to obey and pushed him back when he hold-out his hand.”
(Tacitus ‘Annals’ - Book I)
“The Egyptians, before a battle on a plain near a marsh, covered the mire with seaweed, and then, when the battle began, they feigned flight and drew the enemy into a trap: then these, while advancing too rapid on the unfamiliar ground, were caught in the mire and surrounded”.
(Frontinus ‘Stratagems’ - Book II)
"I have a neighbour whom I wish to fall head over heels from your bridge into the mud; — but let it be at the blackest and deepest pit of the mire with its stinking morass."
(Catullus poem XVII ‘O Colonia’)
"If you have to cross a mire, let your horse be the first to test its depth.”
(Claudian ‘Panegyric on the fourth consulship of emperor Honorius’)
“When he [=emperor Probus] had come to Sirmium in the hope to enrich and enlarge his birth city, he ordered several thousand soldiers to drain a nearby peatland and to construct a large canal with outlets flowing into the Save in order to provide the people of Sirmium with new lands. However, the soldiers rebelled and pursued him into an iron-clad tower, which he himself had built very high as a look-out. The soldiers slew him there in the fifth year of his reign.”
(Group of authors ‘Historia Augusta’)
"Put sloth aside, and once you break the shafts of love the torch is out, and is afterwards only an issue for jokes and mockery. Like the plane tree loves wine, like the poplar loves the river, like the marshy reed loves slimy soil, so does Venus delight in idleness."
(Ovid ‘Love’s Cure’)
"Varus, who was betrayed by a freedman, ran away. After wandering from mountain to mountain he reached a marsh at Minturnæ where he rested. The inhabitants of Minturnæ, however, guarded this mire in search of robbers, and the motion of reeds revealed the hiding-place of Varus."
(Appian ‘Civil Wars’ - Book IV)
"…and the atmosphere around it was highly pure and good for the health of humans. Then there was neither a marsh nearby as a source of oppressive and filthy vapours, nor were any vapours brought in from outside."
(Dionysius of Halicarnassus ‘Roman Antiquities’ - Book XII)
"If you have to build on a river bank, do not build the front facing the river, since it will be extremely cold in winter, and unpleasant in summer. Such precautions need also be taken in the neighbourhood of mires for the same reasons, but also because there are certain miniscule creatures that are invisible to the eye but hover in the air and enter the human body over the mouth and nose and cause serious diseases."
(Varro ‘On Agriculture’ - Book I)
"Hannibal, whose eyes were suffering from the annoying spring weather that alternated between hot and cold, rode his sole surviving elephant in order to be higher above the water. But sleep deprivation, moist nights, and the air of the marshes affected his head. Since he had no place and no time to allow for healing, he lost the sight of one of his eyes."
(Livy ‘History of Rome’ - Book XXII)