We have two graphic entries for this phrase, but not a real thread devoted to the passage directly. I want to feature this quote on the head of the forum for a while, so this will be the page to which we can link.
“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.
Until we come up with one that is at least as literal as this, we can go with this translation, which preserves almost the exact word order:
Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas
Atque metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari
Happy was he who was able to know the causes of things,
And all fear, and inexorable fate, he trampled underfoot, along with the roar of greedy Acheron.
Because the key thoughts or so important, I would prefer not to seem them diluted in the interest of rhyme or poetry, but it would be interesting to see other translations or hear other details about the origin of the passage, so please post them.
Below are the two gallery pictures: