Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Latin Via Proverbs 6

Here are the proverbs from Group 6, carrying on with nouns of the second declension.

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 lulu.com! 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 6

68. The neighbor's eye is envious. (This saying made its way into Erasmus's Adagia, 4.8.20. If you're curious about the word for "envy" in Latin, take a look at this post at the Bestiaria Latina blog.)

69. Wine is the window of the soul. (You are probably already familiar with another similar Latin proverb, in vino veritas, "in wine there is truth.")

70. The reward for silence is sure. (In other words: if you can keep your mouth shut, you won't have to regret anything you said. This proverb also made its way into Erasmus's Adagia, 3.5.3. Be careful with the word order here: the subject is the noun phrase, silentii praemium, "silence's reward" and the adjective tutum is the predicate.)

71. Thus always to tyrants. (This is the motto of the state of Virginia. I've got a listing of state mottoes in Latin at the Bestiaria Latina blog.)

72. There is no rest for the slaves. (It's always difficult to know how to translate the Latin word servus. You always have to choose between "servant" and "slave," which certainly have quite different connotations in English.)

73. No sword to a boy. (This proverb needs a verb, with "sword" as the direct object and "boy" as the indirect object. For example: [Don't give] a sword to a boy.)

74. Now with reins, now with spurs. (This saying appears in Seneca's De Ira. At the Latin Audio Proverbs, I've posted about a similar proverb: Alter frenis, alter eget calcaribus, "One person has need of reins, another of spurs.")

75. By means of deeds, not words. (In other words: do it, don't just talk about it.)

76. Many by means of a few. (Proverbs in general are a good example of multa paucis, a means of expressing many meanings in just a few words.)

77. Bad things are neighbors to good things. (You can find this phrase in Ovid's Remedia Amoris.)

78. For extreme evils, extreme remedies. (Compare the similar English saying, "Desperate times call for desperate measures.")

79. Multi-course meals, multiple illnesses. (This proverb needs a verb, so that morbos can be the direct object, with fercula as the subject. For example, "many dishes [bring] many illnesses." In other words: don't overeat!)

80. Bad egg of a bad crow. (The poor crow had a rather poor reputation in the ancient world, as you can tell from this proverb. The saying made its way into Erasmus's Adagia, 1.9.25. The idea is that you would use this proverb to refer to the bad son of a bad father, the bad student of a bad teacher, etc.)

81. The number of idiots is unlimited. (This Latin proverb is near and dear to my heart! It is actually a Biblical saying, from Ecclesiastes 1:15. Notice the word order again here: the subject is the noun phrase stultorum...numerus and the predicate is the adjective infinitus.)


This blog post is part of an evolving online guide for users of the book Latin Via Proverbs.

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