“Homo homini lupus”

“Man is a wolf to man”


The Roman phrase is attributed to the playwright Titus Maccius Plautus in 195 BC from his play “Asinaria (The One with the Asses)”.

The time he is attributed this phrase is odd when you consider that he died in 184 BC… oh wait never mind.

In either event when we consider the various wars, crimes, and atrocities, committed and still being committed around the world, this phrase evokes a very distinct feeling: that people are cruel to each other. Even in a scientific light, the idea that the major predator to humanity is humanity itself shows through in this phrase. The fairytales of bloodthirsty wolves hunting humans or monstrous demons preying on us through the will of cruel gods might have been prevalent in  Plautus’s time (dispite the similarities between ourselves and Romans) but in today’s world the thought that man is the consumer of man seems to embody the abysmal nature of our race upon the earth.

It is through this phrase that we look back on the struggle and pain we have inflicted on ourselves.

Plautus: wrote play with several asses involved. Said cool shit.

Plautus: wrote play with several asses involved. Said cool shit.

But perhaps the phrase is not so simple,

Man is a wolf to man has a very unique possibility for a Roman because of the well known story of Romulus and Remus. The jist being that the Cane-and-Able-esque twins who began the Roman culture (and in fact show the notion that in order to hold power you must betray a brother) were left as orphans in the wilderness but taken under the wing of a wolf mother (no relation to the band). The story and many artistic pieces show the twins sucking at their adoptive mother’s teat.

In that sense “man is a wolf to man” could also be seen in the sense that man is a mother to man.

In this understanding (and in all writing before the modern era) the word “man” refers to all humanity.

Humanity is a Wolf to Humanity may be PC but it just doesn’t have the same ring. The essence being that the same could apply if it was Woman is a wolf to Woman.

I realize there are some inherentcies I’m making but I didn’t come up with the phrase.

Humanity is a predator to humanity
but Humanity is a mother to humanity

We kill each other, but we gain sustenance from each other. We hate each other, but we love each other. We resist each other, but we need each other. We end each other and we create each other. Which does in fact sum up the paradox of humanity.
If there were not so many people maybe less people would be murdured….But then we might get eaten by wolves.


Wolf: Can beat you in a bare hand fight. Apparent soft spot for roman babies.

Wolf: Apparent soft spot for roman babies. Can beat you in a fight.


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