Thursday, November 30, 2006

Latin Via Proverbs 13

This group of proverbs continues to present third declension nouns. For the most part, there are only nominative forms - but watch out: there are a few accusatives here, for which you will need to supply a verb.

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. Please note: to read the proverbs in Latin, you need to acquire a copy of the book from! What I am providing here in the blog are notes to help people who are making their way through the book either in a Latin class or on their own.

Group 13

166. Man is a bubble. (In other words, man is a very fragile thing! This phrase made its way into Erasmus's Adagia, 2.3.48.)

167. Behold, the man! (These words are spoken by Pontius Pilate in the Gospel of John.)

168. O times, o manners! (This was a favorite phrase of the Roman politician and famed orator Cicero.)

169. Bread and circuses. (Note that these words are in the accusative: circenses is ambiguous, but the word panem is unambiguously in the accusative. The complete phrase, as found in the Roman poet Juvenal, is populus...optat panem et circenses, "the people want bread and circuses.")

170. As the bees their geometry. (Here the word geometriam is in the accusative, so you need to supply a verb based on the context: "as bees [know] their geometry," in other words, bees are able to build their hives based on an inborn understanding of geometry, even though they have not been to school.)

171. Either a king or a donkey. (The idea is "either one or the other," winner or loser, but no middle ground. This phrase made its way into Erasmus's Adagia, 3.5.41.)

172. Either death or victory. (This is another "either-or" saying, like the previous saying.)

173. There are lions here. (The Latin phrase hic is an adverb, meaning "here, in this place." This saying would be written on Roman maps to label the unexplored regions of southern Africa. There is an extant Anglo-Saxon map of the world, dating to the early 11th century (British Museum Cotton MS Tiberius B.V., 56v; online) which reads Hic abundant leones.)

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