John Lambert, the «Latin Lovecraft» of our time

An email in Latin signed by «Ioannes Lambardus», aka John Lambert, a twenty-two-year-old from Massachusetts who attaches his poem in Latin hexameters about an obscure legend from Kentucky. The title is «De occultis Lexintoniae (sive Athenarum Occidentalium) rebus poema didascalicum» («Didactic poem on the secrets of Lexington, or of the Athens of the West», or simply «De occultis»), and its verses intertwine indigenous burial sites, colossal mummies, and horse races into one grand tapestry. As I scrolled through the file, I couldn’t help but wonder: «Does John Lambert really exist? From which dimensional rift does such a twenty-year-old come out?».

This happened last summer when the inbox of the Certamen Poeticum Nubicentauricum – the Latin writing competition on speculative fiction organized by lay0ut magazine – got flooded with all sorts of bold literary experiments. But Lambert’s piece had a certain flair that set it apart from the rest: esoteric vibes, obscure connections, intricate sentence structures, a sophisticated touch, and a mind-blowing imagination – qualities that really caught the jury’s eye, landing him second place in the general category of the Certamen.

1. What De occultis is about

Housing De occultis in Neolatina had become a matter of professional ethics for me. Works of this kind, I thought, deserve to be read and known beyond the narrow circle of Latin enthusiasts.

Being a didactic poem, De occultis doesn’t have a plot in the strict sense. It aims to document events rooted in the local history of Lexington, Kentucky: a weird legend about an antediluvian era, where the city’s territory was supposedly inhabited by a race of giants, identifiable with the biblical Nephilim.

But let’s take it step by step. At the beginning (lines 1-4), there’s a short epigram dedicated to an otherwise unknown friend, who is presented under the Hellenic pseudonym of Corybas. The double couplet introduces the reader to a philosophical digression in the Greek fashion, emphasizing the light and «nugatory» nature of the poem. In other words, Lambert behaves like a pre-Romantic poet, who treats horror as a form of entertainment.

But it doesn’t take long before the lightness turns into dread. In lines 5-17, the poet implores God for mercy upon those, like him, who are on the brink of divulging truths best left unspoken. He then delves into the legend of the Nephilim, giants referenced in the Book of Numbers 13:33 and also mentioned in Genesis 6:4, where they are described as offspring of the «sons of God» and the «daughters of men» (implying forbidden unions, as elucidated in line 23). These colossal beings supposedly constructed a labyrinth of catacombs beneath the city of Lexington before perishing in a flood (lines 18-41). It’s rumored that springs with miraculous properties emerge from the bones interred within these catacombs. Even Queen Elizabeth II of England, known to frequent the city’s horse races, partook of this elixir of longevity (lines 42-80).

The following sequence (vv. 81-121) has a narrative tone. It recounts the story of Thomas Ashe, a nineteenth-century traveler who, in his Travels in America (1809), claimed to have visited a subterranean site excavated by the local natives near Lexington, where he found mummified corpses. In De occultis, Ashe is the protagonist of an adventurous descent into the tomb of a Nephilim and has a close encounter with his mummy, before the abrupt conclusion in iambic trimeters (vv. 122-127) seals the end of the text.

View of Lexington, Ky., in 1851, from the roof of a building
in Transylvania University (fonte).

2. A «Lovecraft» in toga and sandals

Like many didactic poems composed from the Renaissance onward, De occultis breathes contemporary life into the stiff formality of classicism. Let’s ponder the plea to God in the opening lines: a customary invocation in the didactic tradition, yet in De occultis, it takes on a sinister tone, akin to a narrator clumsily concealing his superstitions beneath the cloak of faith: «Have pity on this impudent poet, if – against your will – I rashly reveal these secrets» (lines 14-15). It brings to mind Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat, where the protagonist confesses, «in so doing I was committing a sin—a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it—if such a thing were possible—even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God.»

A more common theme, bridging ancient literature and modern horror, is the combination of antiquity, wisdom, and dread. Starting from Hecataeus of Miletus and Herodotus, referenced by Lambert in line 81, Greek historians often debated which civilization deserved the title of the oldest and wisest. The scales often tipped in favor of the Egyptians, believed to possess knowledge handed down intact through countless generations.

It was from Egyptian priests that the lawmaker Solon learned of the myth of Atlantis, whose ancient inhabitants perished in a deluge as Zeus, «perceiving that an honourable race was in a woeful plight, and wanting to inflict punishment on them, that they might be chastened and improve, collected all the gods» (Critias, 121 B-C).

In De occultis, we encounter the Nephilim, demigods who existed «before the Flood / of Noah» (line 53); from their preserved remains flow streams of profound insight, making Lexingtonians wise in debates (line 53).

Regarding the horror element, ancient yet inherently eerie are the «Great Old Ones» of H. P. Lovecraft, or the «Elder Things» found in «At the Mountains of Madness» (capitalized are also Lambert’s «Veteres … sapientes»); and an instinctual connection with the Gentleman of Providence emerges from the depiction of the catacombs.

The hollowed layer was not more than seven or eight feet deep but extended off indefinitely in all directions and had a fresh, slightly moving air which suggested its membership in an extensive subterranean system. Its roof and floor were abundantly equipped with large stalactites and stalagmites, some of which met in columnar form: but important above all else was the vast deposit of shells and bones, which in places nearly choked the passage.

H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness, 2

(…) a vast square space hidden beneath these inhospitable lands: it was twenty arms wide and five high up to the rough roof, stained with dark smoke. One would have thought it to be a burial of that civilization, except that the niches were suitable for remains much larger than human ones, and no urn stood out in the tomb. According to Ashe’s testimony, the monstrous tibia of an unknown and dismembered body lay on the threshold, making passage quite difficult. A reed bandage covered it, like Egyptian linen covers corpses.

lines 89-99

Passages of this kind, and those found in Ashe’s Travels, which Lambert heavily draws upon, are characterized by a rigorous positivism in observation. This marries well with etiology, an inherent aspect of didactic poems, even as they occasionally open up to mirabilia, expressions of wonder, and horrific comparisons, as in line 99. In his essay on Supernatural Horror in Literature, Lovecraft recognized the modernity of this approach, celebrating Poe’s «impersonal and artistic intent (…) aided by a scientific attitude not often found before».

3. «Something like an urban legend…»

One source of De Occultis is Thomas Ashe’s Travels in America. Ashe also makes an appearance within the poem, as an epic hero confronting a monstrum drawn from the Bible, shaped by Native American cults, and infused with cosmicism.

What’s particularly notable is Lambert’s reimagining of Ashe’s writings. The latter vividly describes «the mouth of a cave – deep, gloomy, and terrific» into which he ventures. He mentions «niches and compartments», and accounts of indigenous graves desecrated by white settlers, who unearthed mummified bodies from it, kicking them around and exposing them to sunlight. After examining bandages and organic remains, Ashe concludes that the mummies date back to a «remote antiquity.»

But De Occultis goes beyond simply translating Ashe’s account into verse. Instead, it places at its core «a living mythology half-believed by a certain subset of Lexingtonians, something like an urban legend, but more serious and elaborate». Lambert himself explained this to me via email when I inquired about the sources of his text. He added that «the legend of the ziggurat under the city center was likely influenced by the vexed construction of a commercial hub (the CentrePointe complex)». A blend of historical events, superstitions, and local rumors… Scant traces of it can be found online, delving into the same depths from which creepypastas and other online mythologies emerge.

Robert Crumb, The Book of Genesis
(W. W. Norton & Company, 2009), chapter 6.

Furthermore, in Lambert’s work, there’s the charm of a winding Latin language, flowing with accumulation and urgency, rich in non-defining clauses and enjambments; a teaching style that combines grandiloquent and documentary tones; a vocabulary that’s both traditional and exotic, capable of polishing already-known formulas (like the flood described in lines 33-37), indulging in rare terms (the «catacumba» in lines 89 and 118), summoning forth the allure and threats of the East, such as the «Pyramidum moles (…) Babylonica» in line 26, the «bombyx» and the «Tyria» purple in line 58.

4. Multiple narrative times

Ziggurats and commercial buildings, Athens and Lexington, Herodotus and Ashe, universal mysteries and local realities, legend and historiography deeply intertwine in De occultis. Lambert’s verses serve as a vessel for this fusion. Take, for instance, lines 81-83: «So far, legend informs us. For the rest, we must rely on Thomas Ashe, the local Herodotus; whether his account is right or wrong, and everything else, I cannot say.»

Layers of ancient epochs sediment within its narrative. But the opposite is also true: as if told by a cleric, a historian, a philosopher traveling through spacetime on a hexametric-propulsion spaceship, the events of the present appear illuminated by an ancestral glow. This is the case with the description of horse races in Lexington (vv. 55-62), which evoke luxurious «aeronaves» in the skies of epic; and the mention of Elizabeth II (vv. 66-80) who, by extracting a potion of longevity from the miraculous waters of the city, transforms into a sort of out-of-time alchemist (similar to her namesake Elizabeth I, sympathizer of the alchemist John Dee, mentioned in this article).

A tweet on City Center
(new name of CentrePoint, Lexington, Ky.),
2020, July 4th.

5. The Charm of the Unfinished

After every legendary digression, the temporal center of De occultis settles back into the present: «A great crater arises where the inhabited center now stands» («crateraque gignitur ampla / In qua fundatum est nostrum, quod permanet, astu», lines 40-41); or: «It so happens that the bandage still exists and has ended up in the Museum of our library, among rocks pierced by arrows and remnants of ancient battles» («Casu autem sospes Museum bibliothecae / Pannus iit nostrae, iam inter caelata sagittis / Saxa et bellorum spolia antiquorum ubi pendet», lines 119-121).

If De occultis were a film, we would find in its closing scenes the earthy, desaturated colors of a ‘90s weird miniseries. Historical horror is subsumed into artifact, and Lexingtonians lead an unaware and peaceful life in their picturesque city; underground, however, a buried consciousness, longing for awakening, perpetuates an arcane connection with «unknown spheres and powers.» There’s a scent of unsolved mystery, accentuated by the non-ending of the poem: Lambert’s narrative remains unfinished, burying the promise of further wonders.

Queen Elisabeth II visiting a horse-breeding farm
in Versailles, Ky., in 1989. (Ed Reinke/Associated Press).

6. For an educational use of De occultis

Two proposals for the teachers of Literature or Classics who follow us: read in class verses 81-101 of the poem (with facing-page translation, if necessary), incorporating them into a didactic unit:

a. On the theme of horror: the unit can encompass, for example, the myth of Lycaon in Book I of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the splatter description of the witch Erictho in Book VI of Lucan’s Pharsalia, the ghost story in Epistle VII, 27 of Pliny the Younger, the werewolf of Petronius’ Satyricon 61-62, and/or some illustrative excerpts from the Prodigiorum Libri by Julius Obsequens; nothing prevents marginalizing Latin and broadening the view to other literatures and art forms (for those teaching Classics, Phlegon of Tralles’ Περἱ θαυμᾳσίων καἰ μακροβίων should not be overlooked); ask students to investigate what strategies artists adopt to tell «supernatural horror,» or at what point of history that horror, which previously took on realistic forms, embodying itself in toothless old women and decaying bodies, becomes indistinguishable from a «sense of cosmic fear in its purest sense» (H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature);

b. On the reuse of sources in poetry: ask the class to compare the story of De occultis with the corresponding passage from Thomas Ashe’s Travels in America, dedicated to the discovery of indigenous catacombs, identifying narrative, structural, and lexical similarities and differences.

The weirder your classes, the more they will thank you.

Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book 1 (plate 9): Lycaon transforming into a wolf (workshop of Hendrick Goltzius, from Hendrick Goltzius).

7. De occultis Lexintoniae (sive Athenarum Occidentalium rebus) poema didascalicum: text and translation

vv. 1-4 Ad Corybantem
philosophum Lexintoniensem epigramma

Graecior est, Corybas, qui te stilus atque tuorum
Dignus agat lectu gaudia συμποσίων.
Arte ego Graeca expers solitas en hasce Latine
Conscripsi nugas: ridicule accipias.

lines 1-4 Epigram for Corybas, philosopher from Lexington

A pen more Greek than mine, Corybas, should narrate you and the joys of your symposia. Unacquainted with Greek art, behold, I have written these trifles in Latin. Take them with lightness.

vv. 5-41 Incipit poema

Alme Deus, cuius nihil iniussu accidit umquam,
Sponte tamen morti, ut moreretur et ipsa, dicate,
Mundi delapsi melius delapse Redemptor:
Cum quidquid placeat toleres nos velle, bonum sit
Sive malum, maneat seu corde sub interiore,
Sive (sed eventum forsan frustrere) petat vi
Membrorum effectum, tamen optima, Sancte, voluntas
Est Tibi: cui parere utinam possemus alacres!
At ne nosse quidem quam saepe hominum miserorum
Sors est. Parce, precor; vatis miserere procacis,
Si temere secreta haec Te nolente profano;
Sin autem memorare sinas, Ere, dirige carmen,
Harum ut Athenarum salvus miracula cantem.        
Urbem antiquam igitur scito, lector, iacuisse
Hic ubi Athenae nunc, quae, longe priscior illis
Et Graecis, a semideis exstructa refertur
Noae ante Eluviem. Nephilim hos dixere prophetae:
Gens crudelis, atrox, vitiisque exculta, Gigantum,
Conubiis vetitis hominum generata deumque,
Quos ego–nomina sed taceam, ritumque nefandum. [1]
Templum urbe in media, peccatis quod celebrabant, Pyramidum moles tamquam Babylonica facta,
Spelunca super angusta situm erat tenebrosaque,
Huc illuc errante, instar serpentis: at illi,
Numinis hac etiam pro concessa male grati,
Calcem findentes mollem, penetralia subter
Vasta locant, artes possent ut et amplificare
Daemonicas. Ibi congressa est stirps improba cuncta,
Cum Deus, imbre ratus mundum lustrare, fenestras
Effringit caelorum, aperitque sine obice valvas
Tartareas: tunc flaminibus saevire procellae,
Tunc scindi rupes rapidique effundier amnes,
Terra quati, montes labi, maria omnia circum
Mergere. Sic Nephilim vitio prensi perierunt.
Cum quibus urbs: totis nam effossis fundamentis
Obruta subsidit, crateraque gignitur ampla
In qua fundatum est nostrum, quod permanet, astu. [2]

lines 5-41 The poem begins

Kind God, without whose consent nothing ever happens, who devoted yourself to death so that death might die, better fallen Redeemer of a fallen world, since you allow us to wish whatever pleases us, whether it be good or bad, whether it lie deep in the heart or (but perhaps you would subvert its outcome) should seek an effect through the power of the body, yet, O Holy One, you possess a perfect will: oh, if only we could – diligently – obey it! But how often the fate of men is not even to know it! Have pity on this impudent poet, if – against your will – I rashly reveal these secrets; but if you permit me to disclose them, Lord, direct my song, that I may sing the wonders of Lexington and find salvation.
Know, O reader, that an ancient city lay where now is Lexington: it is said to be much older than Athens and the Greek cities, built before the flood of Noah by demigods. The prophets called them Nephilim: a cruel, savage race of giants, grown in vice, spawned from illicit unions between men and gods, whom I… but may I here refrain from mentioning their names and abominable rites! [1]
In the midst of the city was a temple, which they honored with their sins, a monument built in resemblance to the Sumerian ziggurats. It stood atop a narrow, dark cave, winding to and fro like a serpent. But they, ungrateful to God for such a concession, digging into the soft lime, built chambers beneath it, to enhance their diabolical arts. Here gathered the entire evil race, when God, yearning to cleanse the world with rain, opened the windows of heaven and unhinged the gates of hell, removing the bolts: you would have seen storms raging, cliffs collapsing, rapid rivers overflowing, the earth trembling, mountains tottering, the seas engulfing everything around. Thus the Nephilim, prey to vice, perished along with their city: for, with the foundations giving way, it collapsed into the underworld. A great crater arises where the inhabited center now stands. [2]

vv. 42-80 De ossibus sepultis

Ossa at quae Nephilim cum corpore deseruere,
Miratus, simul intuitus, virtute valere
Immani haud dubites, gummi quae frigida sudent
Adsidue lento, summis candente tenebris
Lunae vi. Stillam autem acrem qui linxerit unam
Acriter extemplo sapiat, stultissimus etsi
Praeterito. Quapropter Lexintonia nostra
Illustri est donata “Novis” cognomine “Athenis”:
Namque ossa in tellure latent, antroque sepulta,
Fontes unde fluunt potum qui civibus omnes
Subministrant, niveo perfundunt rore liquorem,
Sagiat ut populus nimium, iurgetque diserte:
Haud aliter Veterum rixabantur sapientes.    
Quin proceres etiam ditesque a gentibus orti
Omnibus huc ad equos veniunt (aiuntve) quotannis Spectandos, circensibus optima qui mereantur. [3]
Bombycem induti Palmarum et Tyria Festo
Argento gravidas huc vertunt aeronaves;
Fiat ut aurifero soli via, nubila proris
Pertundunt: certamina enim currenda sereno.
Istaec confirmat subridens clam sibi quisque.
Namque alia est ratio, sapiens quod qui scatet umor Perpetuam quoque det vitam; ritu modo scires
Quo esset opus, secretisve incantanda loquelis
Carmina quae possent, animam lymphis religatam
Haurires tibi. Quae (chymicis nunc testibus utor;  
Consule, si qua parum sententia credita, tales)
Irrita torpet, iners, dum solis lucibus orba;
Quod si adsit radius, calefiat quo medicamen,
Sidera iunguntur gemina, et perfecta salutis
Alba rubescit vis. [4] Series perlonga hominum est, queis Fama artem attribuit: praestat Regina Britannum,
Elisabetha (eheu nobis quae nuper adempta).
Namque aetate magis provecta est fructa, minusque
Mens hebetata annis, plebs quam ut credibile ducat;
Cursibus accedit quod anus ne aegrota quidem absens,
Immo etiam, sunt qui dicant, nunc viva frequentat.
Horum autem vanum sermonem suspicor. Illa
Si vivat, valeat; ficta ecquid profuerit mors?

lines 42-80 The buried bones

While admiring the bones left by the Nephilim alongside their bodies, at first glance you wouldn’t doubt their immensely powerful property. Cold as they are, they incessantly distill a viscous resin when the white moon gleams upon the upper layers of darkness. Whoever licks even a single drop of its sour fluid suddenly becomes wise, even if they were the most foolish before. Hence our Lexington has been bestowed the illustrious name of «New Athens.» Indeed, bones lie hidden underground, buried within the cave. From them spring forth the fountains that provide drink to all citizens and spread a white-colored liquid, by virtue of which the populace is wise and engages in eloquent disputes, as the Ancient sages once did.
Moreover, so they say, notable and wealthy individuals from every country come here every year to admire the horses, vying for the top prize in horse races. [3] On Palm Sunday, dressed in silk and purple, they hither turn their airplanes laden with silver and cleave through the clouds with their prows, opening a passage to the golden sun: the races, indeed, are held under clear skies. Everyone affirms this, smiling to themselves.
There is indeed another method by which the wise liquid that springs forth here also bestows eternal life. If you knew the necessary techniques and arcane spells, you could draw out the spirit imprisoned within the waters. It (I call upon the chemists as witnesses; ask them if you do not believe me) remains sterile and inert when deprived of sunlight; but if a ray of sunshine warms the elixir, the two glows merge, and the pure force of salvation, now brought to fulfillment, turns red. [4] According to the legend, many people were skilled in this technique: among them, Queen Elizabeth of England stands out (who, alas, has recently been taken away from us): she, indeed, was older than the people thought, and her mind less weakened by the years; moreover, she never missed the horse races even when old and ill. Some say she is still alive and continues to attend them. I consider such gossip unfounded. If she is alive, may she be well! What benefit will a fictitious death bring?

vv. 81-121 De Thomae Ashe in catacumbam descensu

Hactenus edocuit rumor: iam in cetera teste
Herodoto nostro, Thomas qui dicitur Ashe,
Nitendum est; an falso, ignoro cum reliqua re.
Hic peregrinatum mediam exploratum Americam
Saeclo undevicesimo, et hic vidisse, ineunte
Scripsit [5] se indigenarum urbem, atque immane sepulcrum.
Illius heu superest, cuius vestigia tantum
Tunc etiam perpauca, nihil, si quid fuit umquam;
Nec multo catacumba est fortunatior urbe.
Conclave haec subter tesquis quadratum inimicis
Viginti ulnarum latum, tectoque supremo
Quinque tenus, rude quod fumus maculaverat ater;
Gentis forte columbarium, ni manibus aptae
Aediculae humanis maioribus, urnaque busto
Nulla videretur. Quippe, Ashe teste, iacebat
Frustatim sparsi sine nomine corporis una
Tibia trans postes, monstrosa qua obice clausae
Vix paterentur iter: circumdata fascia iuncis
Obtegit haud secus atque Aegyptia lina cadaver.
Sub qua Ashe repens noster nihilominus intrat,
Fertque pedes inter tinctos pice segniter artus,
Bracchia iam admirans ingentia, iam femur ingens,
Dum caput adveniat, comburat quod studio cor,
Mnemosyni ut cupidus detrito margine captans
Haud trepidis pannum digitis avellat ab ore.
Extemplo auditur fremitus defluxuum aquarum
Consimilis, nullo fluctu cogente; tremitque
Personitus diris loculus clamoribus omnis.
En sub direpto fulgebat vimine flavus
Se undique detorquens oculus, somnoque reposto
Tendit in Ashe aciem. Hic se audax ad tempora vertit
Celsa, et “Prodigia haec” declamat “inania quorsum,
Trunce Cyclops? Ulcisci num pote furta lacertis
Te laceris? Valido ne sis minitatus inermis.”
His dictis vectem iratus conquirit, abactum
Quo demat lumen, cum iam hoc (mirabile dictu)
Nictat: abit penetral, per silvas denuo oberrat
Ashe, nec poterat catacumba iterum reperiri.
Casu autem sospes Museum bibliothecae
Pannus iit nostrae, iam inter caelata sagittis
Saxa et bellorum spolia antiquorum ubi pendet.

lines 81-121 Thomas Ashe’s visit to the catacombs

So far, legend informs us. For the rest, we must rely on Thomas Ashe, the local Herodotus; whether his account is right or wrong, and everything else, I cannot say. He wrote [5] that, during an exploration voyage to America, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, he visited the city and the immense tomb of the natives. Alas! if ever there was anything, nothing remains, and even then there were only scant traces. Neither did the catacombs fare better than the city.
They consisted of a vast square space hidden beneath these inhospitable lands: it was twenty arms wide and five high up to the rough roof, stained with dark smoke. One would have thought it to be a burial of that civilization, except that the niches were suitable for remains much larger than human ones, and no urn stood out in the tomb. According to Ashe’s testimony, the monstrous tibia of an unknown and dismembered body lay on the threshold, making passage quite difficult. A reed bandage covered it, like Egyptian linen covers corpses.
But our Ashe, crawling, still manages to enter, and advances slowly among the tar-covered limbs, admiring now enormous arms, now an enormous femur. Finally, he reaches the head and – ardently desiring a souvenir – with steady fingers, grabs the worn edge of the bandage to pull it away from the face. Suddenly, a loud rumble is heard, like a waterfall without any waves; the entire niche trembles, shaken by that horrible noise. Behold, beneath the torn reeds, a yellow eye gleamed, rotating in all directions. Awakening from sleep, it fixes on Ashe. He, daring, turns to the towering head and shouts, «What use are these vain wonders, mutilated cyclops? Do you seek revenge for thefts with your broken arms? Do not threaten, unarmed, one stronger than you!».
Having said these words, in the grip of anger, he looks for a stick to blind the eye, when it (wondrous to tell!) winks: the cavern disappears and Ashe wanders again in the woods. No trace now of the catacombs.
It so happens that the bandage still exists and has ended up in the Museum of our library, among rocks pierced by arrows and remnants of ancient battles.

vv. 122-127 Auctoris satisfactio
pro carmine imperfecto

Post operis hanc prolusionem scripseram
Ultore Rafinesqui aliqua de phantasmate,
Modo sisset hora. Brevius a tempus fugax
Contritum abest, currente nec primus quidem
Rota liber perfectus exiit. Haec tamen,
Corybas, recipe, futura ne excludas bona.

lines 122-127 Author’s satisfaction for his unfinished poem

After this premise, I would have written about Raphinesque’s avenging ghost if time had allowed. But alas, lost time slips away, and not even the first book emerges fully formed from the lathe. But you, Corybas, embrace these verses, and do not dismiss the possibility of something good in the future.

[1] Si quis velit plura de hac re discere, legat vel audiat dialogum de Terra Gigantum a PP. Andrea et Stephano excogitatum, sub indice Domini Spirituum vulgatum.

[2] Huius craterae vel vallis, quamquam multi aiunt eam permagnam fuisse, nullum apud chartas vestigium inveni. Aut falso tradiderunt maiores aut, quod veri similius videtur, post eorum tempus aequata vel impleta est.

[3] Quo tutius verum propositum dissimularent, urbis cognomen conati sunt, nec frustra, mutare in “Equorum Totius Orbis Capitolium.”

[4] Chymicum quendam cognovi qui, simili ratus opinione corpus suum μικρόκοσμον solis vi carere, inguina luci obicere solebat, quo melius influxum sorberent.

[5] Nempe in Itinerum libri secundi epistula vicesima secunda.

Expliciunt notae. Vive feliciter.

[1] Anyone who wants to know more should read or listen to the dialogue A Land of Giants by Fr. Stephen and Fr. Andrew, available on the Lord of Spirits page.

[2] About this crater or valley, although many claim it was very large, I found no trace in the documents. Either our ancestors passed on faulty information, or, as is more likely, the crater was flattened or filled in after their time.

[3] To more securely conceal their true purpose, they endeavored, not in vain, to change the city’s appellation to the «World Capital of Horses.»

[4] I once knew a chemist who, believing similarly that his body-microcosm lacked sunlight, would expose his genitals to the sun, thinking they would better absorb its influence.

[5] In the twenty-second epistle of the second book of the Travels.

End of notes. Live in joy.