A Latin phrase first used by Nicolas Poussin in his painting of the same name. Shepherds gather around a tomb on which the words are written.

The phrase can have two meanings:

As you can tell, the phrase can have a bunch of meanings and evoke some fairly deep questions about the nature of Arcadian peace.

The phrase has been used by many writers, and its complex message evoked by its invocation. Notable among them are Evelyn Waugh, whose book Brideshead Revisited takes the phrase as its epigram, and Tom Stoppard, who explores the phrase in his play Arcadia.