Virgil - Felix Qui Potuit Rerum Cognoscere Causas
Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas - Wikipedia
“Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas” is verse 490 of Book 2 of the "Georgics" (29 BC), by the Latin poet Virgil (70 - 19 BC). It is literally translated as: “Fortunate, who was able to know the causes of things”. ] Virgil may have had in mind the Roman philosopher Lucretius, of the Epicurean school.
The verse on display in the Catacombs of Paris
This sentence is often written with a present tense instead of the past tense: “Felix, qui potest rerum cognoscere causas” (“Fortunate is he, who is able to know the causes of things”). Translators have also often added the adjective "hid" or "hidden" to qualify the causes.
The latter half of the phrase, "rerum cognoscere causas", is the motto of the London School of Economics, the University of Sheffield, Bruce Hall (residential college of the Australian National University), Humberside Collegiate, the University of Guelph, Hill Park Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario, the IVDI lecture hall of the University of Debrecen, the Science National Honor Society, the Royal Military College of Science, the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel and the Romanian National Defense College [ro].
So I like this one almost literally but in present tense:
Happy is he who is able to know the causes of things,
And all fear, and inexorable fate, he tramples underfoot, along with the roar of greedy hell.
So in this brief verse you've got a great summary of the Epicurean worldview:
For me this one is probably more complete and clear as a summary of the most important elements of Epicurean philosophy than is the Tetrapharmakon.
And better yet than the Tetrapharmakon? It's in LATIN and therefore easier for more modern westerners to memorize and see the meaning!
Unfortunately for me when I look at many of the remaining texts it's still "Greek to me." But when I look at these Latin words I can almost imagine Lucretius / Virgil saying them, and me be actually able to understand him as he's saying it. - The only words being really foreign probably the metus and strepitum.
Here's a link to the English translation at the Perseus Digital Library:
"Happy, who had the skill to understand
Nature's hid causes, and beneath his feet
All terrors cast, and death's relentless doom,
And the loud roar of greedy Acheron."