Lady with blue and gilt garment, fan and sun hat: Tanagra, 325-300 BC (Altes Museum, Berlin; image by Capillon, 2008)
With my looks I am bound to look simple or fast I would rather look simple
So I wear a tall hat on the back of my head that is rather a temple
And I walk rather queerly and comb my long hair
And people say, Don't bother about her.
So in my time I have picked up a good many facts,
Rather more than the people do who wear smart hats
And I do not deceive because I am rather simple too
And although I collect facts I do not always know what they amount to.
I regard them as a contribution to almighty Truth, magna est veritas et praevalebit,
Agreeing with that Latin writer, Great is Truth and will prevail in a bit.
Florence Margaret "Stevie" Smith (1902-1971): Magna Est Veritas, from Not Waving but Drowning, 1957
Bust of Attis as a child wearing a Phrygian cap: 2nd century AD, probably during the reign of Emperor Hadrian; portrait bears a resemblance to those of Antinous (Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris; image by Jastrow, 2006)
Here, in this little Bay,
Full of tumultuous life and great repose,
Where, twice a day,
The purposeless, glad ocean comes and goes,
Under high cliffs, and far from the huge town,
I sit me down.
For want of me the world's course will not fail:
When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
The truth is great, and shall prevail,
When none cares whether it prevail or not.
Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore (1823-1896): Magna Est Veritas, from The Unknown Eros, 1890
Decebalus, the Dacian king: rock carving on Trajan's Column, Rome, possibly by Apollodorus of Damascus, 113 AD (image by Bogdan, 2005)