Monday, December 04, 2006
Latin Via Proverbs 17
Note for the month of December: You can find Latin Christmas Carols, with a new one for each day, at my Latin Carols Blog. December 4: A Solis Ortus Cardine, "From The Direction of the Sun Rise."
This is a set of proverbs involving third declension nouns, and this time the proverbs feature phrases constructed with a genitive: "X is the Y of Z" (or, depending on how you do the English version: "X is Z's Y")
You can play a game with the proverbs in this group at the Bestiaria Latina blog.
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.
222. Death is the doorway of life. (You can see this saying used as a motto for a pre-Raphaelite painting by Joseph Noel Paton.)
223. Death is the crown of life. (Compare a similar saying from the Christian tradition: Corona martyrii, corona vitae, "The crown of martyrdom, the crown of life.")
224. Death is a thief of humanity. (This is a phrase adapted from the medieval question-and-answer Dialogue of Pippin and Alcuin.)
225. Humanity is death's possession. (In other words, death owns each person. The Latin mancipium means "right of ownership." Hence the word "emancipation," for the liberation of slaves. This is also a phrase adapted from the medieval question-and-answer Dialogue of Pippin and Alcuin.)
226. Life is a waiting for death. This is also a phrase adapted from the medieval question-and-answer Dialogue of Pippin and Alcuin.)
227. Philosophy is the art of life. (The saying is found in Cicero. You can find a similar saying in Seneca: sapientia ars vitae, "wisdom is the art of life.")
228. Sleep is the brother of death. (Notice that because somnus is a masculine noun, it is designated as the "brother" of death. If the saying were reversed in Latin, it would be "death is the sister of sleep," since mors is a feminine noun.)
229. Writing is the guardian of history. (This is also a phrase adapted from the medieval question-and-answer Dialogue of Pippin and Alcuin.)
230. The sun is the eye of the world. (This is also a phrase adapted from the medieval question-and-answer Dialogue of Pippin and Alcuin.)
231. The moon is the eye of the night. (This is also a phrase adapted from the medieval question-and-answer Dialogue of Pippin and Alcuin.)
232. Knowledge is the sun of the mind. (This phrase is the motto of the University of Delaware.)
233. Ignorance is the mother of arrogance. (Because inscitia is a feminine noun, it gets to be the "mother," rather than the "father" of arrogance.)
234. Repetition is the mother of memory. (There is no better motto for the language student!)
235. Wisdom is the pilot of the ship. (The Latin pilot, "gubernator," is where we get the words for governor, government, etc. This phrase made its way into Erasmus's Adagia, 5.1.63).
236. Wisdom is the health of mind. (This saying can be found in Cicero.)
This blog post is part of an evolving online guide for users of the book Latin Via Proverbs.
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