Thursday, November 16, 2006

Latin Via Proverbs 8

Group 8 carries on with second declension nouns and adjectives. This time the proverbs each feature a preposition that takes the ablative case.

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 8

95. Prodigal with someone else's stuff. (The idea is that people are very generous when they are spending money out of someone else's purse.)

96. Enough from a little. (The idea is that it does not really take that much to be satisfied. You can see a delightful emblematic illustration of this proverb in the 1584 book, Emblematum Christianorum centuria Emblemes Chrestiens.)

97. A heap from grains. (In other words: adding grain by grain you end up with a big heap.)

98. Great things from the smallest beginnings. (This saying made its way into Erasmus's Adagia, 3.8.23.)

99. From the bottom to the top. (You can remember the Latin adjective summum but thinking of the English word "summit," which is the "top" of the mountain.)

100. From the egg all the way to the apples. (Be careful with the word mala here; it is not the adjective meaning "bad" but a noun meaning "apple." Roman meals traditionally started with an egg and ended with apples for dessert, so this saying is a way to say "from start to finish.")

101. From words to blows. (Notice the lovely play on words in the Latin.)

102. From the muck into the sky. (This is for when someone's fortunes improve.)

103. From the sky into the filth. (This is for when someone's fortunes decline - radically!)

104. In a doubtful matter, in favor of the accused. (In other words: presumed innocent until proven, beyond a doubt, guilty.)

105. Something great in something small. (This is something like the English saying, "good things come in small packages.")

106. Much in little. (This refers to being able to say a lot, multum in something brief, parvo.)

107. The greatest in the littlest. (Notice that maximus is a masculine adjective, not neuter. The full form of this saying comes from Augustine: Deus magnus in magnis, maximus in minimis, "God is great in great things, greatest in the littlest things.")

108. In loquaciousness there is always a lie. (Notice the nice sound repetition in the Latin, which I tried to imitate here in the English, too.)

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

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