Carpe Diem

Quintus Horatius Flaccus

We believe in the power of lifestyle and who better to represent this subject than the great Roman poet and philosopher Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 - 8 BC), also known as Horace, born in the ancient town of 'Venusia' meaning town of 'Venus'. Horace's most famous words and phrase, 'carpe diem' first documented in his 'Odes Book I' poems, which uses agricultural metaphors to urge people to embrace the day. The 'carpe diem' philosophy is clearly visible in many of Horace's poems inspired by Epicureanism.


Carpe Diem Background

In English, the Latin phrase 'carpe diem' tends to be translated as 'seize the day'. This translation implies that a person should focus and only act for today, and not focus on one's future. This translation is not entirely correct, actually 'carpe' literally means 'pluck or pick' referring to the plucking of fruit, hence the more precise translation for 'carpe diem' would be, 'pluck the day while it is ripe', which emphasises the importance of embracing the day regardless of the circumstances instead of simply waiting and hoping for a better future. The full phrase, 'carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero' means 'live in and harness the moment, worry less about what the future holds'.

The origins of the 'carpe diem' theme lies in Epicureanism, which inspired and touched Horace deeply. Epicureanism is a Hellenic philosophy based on the teachings of Epicurus. This philosophy, which originated around 307 BC, was materialist in nature and attacked notions of superstition and divine intervention. Epicurus believed that pleasure is the greater good, and the way that people attain pleasure is to live a modest and simple life, exploring and gaining deeper knowledge about the world, its limitations and opportunities. According to Epicureanism, leading this type of life led the person to a state of tranquility, or ataraxia, which allowed man to be free from fear. In addition, this state of tranquility was also representing the power to distance oneself from bodily pain, or aponia. The combination of these two states of being allowed the person to reach a state of total happiness.

Unfortunately the notion or deeper meaning of both 'carpe diem' and Epicureanism is often misunderstood and linked with hedonism. Epicureanism, like hedonism, values pleasure as an intrinsic good, but Epicureanism emphasizes the idea of living a simple life and calls the absence of pain the greatest pleasure. The meaning of 'carpe diem' in turn reflects the real meaning of Epicureanism, which is finding the key to happiness, and it is exactly this meaning that Horace emphasises and incorporates into his poems and odes.


Why Carpe Diem?

Circumstances play an important role in the sense that the times we live in often influence us and our choices. Same can be concluded about Horace, his writing did act as a beacon of light and hope for people during difficult times, where large scale poverty had a grip over society, especially in the countryside. 'carpe diem' did therefore help people find meaning in their daily activities, rather than waiting for things to change, which made people more resilient, as well as more appreciative of what they had and the greatest most important things in life, like health, family, friends, nature etc.


The 'Creating Happiness' link

This same Epicurean and 'Carpe Diem' philosophy is central, and resonates well, with the Dolce Vita Global 'Creating Happiness' philosophy, which emphasises the importance of sustainable down to earth lifestyle choices, the importance of deep thinking and enhancing our level of awareness, as well as reaching organic quality of life in balance with nature and the universe.


Legacy

We have created a range of artesan products in the 'Carpe Diem' spirit and memory of Horace for all of the world to enjoy.

  • Carpe Diem Tea Room (organic tea blend series)
  • Carpe Diem Kitchen (organic spice and herb mix selection)
  • In Vino Veritas (organic wine assortment)

This effort is part of our WCHP 'World Cultural Heritage Protection' initiative.


Carpe Diem Tea Room


Carpe Diem Kitchen


In Vino Veritas