Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Latin Via Proverbs 79

In this group of proverbs, you will find first conjugation verbs (present active indicative), just like yesterday, but today you will find second declension nouns and adjectives being used with those verbs.

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 79

1038. God enriches. (Notice that, as often in Latin, the subject comes after the verb, not before. This is the state motto of Arizona.)

1039. God bestows favor on the righteous. (The adjective iustos, is being used substantively here, meaning "the righteous (people.")

1040. Money reigns everywhere. (The Latin nummus means, literally, "coin." You will find this phrase in the medieval Carmina Burana 11.)

1041. The people rule. (This is the state motto of Arkansas.)

1042. The wolf is gaping. (This is a phrase that is associated with an animal fable, and is used to refer to someone who wanted something badly but had to leave unsatisfied, empty-handed and "empty-mouthed," i.e. gaping.)

1043. The donkey is carrying the religious icons. (This is another phrase related to an animal fable. The story goes that a donkey was carrying a sacred image of the goddess Isis on his back, and as the people bowed down to worship the goddess, the foolish donkey thought they were worshipping him. You can see an image of this story from Alciato's Book of Emblems.)

1044. Even Homer naps. (In other words, sometimes event Homer, great poet though he was, was asleep at the wheel, composing lines of poetry that do not radiate the transcendent greatness that critics expected from the renowned poet.)

1045. The wisest man also makes mistakes. (In Christian Latin, peccare means "to sin," but in classical Latin it means simply "to make a mistake, err, blunder.")

1046. Even the most prudent man errs. (Notice how the words et and etiam can be used in Latin to mean "also," "too," "even," etc. You can see this in proverbs 1044, 1045 and here in 1046. Yes, the et really is the word for "and" and the way you can understand that is by imagining what other side of the et or etiam is implied but left out: [Other poets nap] AND Homer naps; The wisest man [does wise things] AND he makes mistakes; [Foolish people make mistakes] AND the most prudent man makes mistakes. It's helpful to do that so you can see if the et goes with the subject of the verb as in 1044 and 1046 or more with the verb itself, as in 1045.)

1047. The smoke foretells the fire. (In other words, where there's smoke, there's fire. You can find this phrase used in the writings of the Roman philosopher Seneca.)

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

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