The Alexiad of Anna Comnena
The stream of Time, irresistible, ever moving, carries off and bears away all things that come to birth and plunges them into utter darkness, both deeds of no account and deeds which are mighty and worthy of commemoration; as the playwright says, it ‘brings to light that which was unseen and shrouds from us that which was manifest’. Nevertheless, the science of History is a great bulwark against this stream of Time; in a way it checks this irresistible flood, it holds in a tight grasp whatever it can seize floating on the surface and will not allow it to slip away into the depths of Oblivion.
From the preface to the biography of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I by his daughter Anna Comnena
Ursula K Le Guin on Time
“… chronosophy does involve ethics. Because our sense of time involves our ability to separate cause and effect, means and end. The baby, again, the animal, they don’t see the difference between what they do now and what will happen because of it. They can’t make a pulley, or a promise. We can. Seeing the difference between now and not now, we can make the connection. And there morality enters in. Responsibility. To say that a good end will follow from a bad means is just like saying that if I pull a rope on this pulley it will lift the weight on that one. To break a promise is to deny the reality of the past; therefore it is to deny the hope of a real future.
If time and reason are functions of each other, if we are creatures of time, then we had better know it, and try to make the best of it. To act responsibly.”
Ursula K Le Guin, The Dispossessed, 1974
Ignazio Gardella, Casa alle Zatere, Venice, 1953
Steven Speilberg, Jurassic Park, 1993
Gerrit Reitveld, Sonsbeek Pavilion, Netherlands, 1955, rebuilt at the Kröller-Müller Museum’s sculpture garden in 2010 (Photo: Chronosophy)