Thursday, December 07, 2006

Latin Via Proverbs 20

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 7: Angeli Canunt Praecones, a Latin translation of the English carol "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

This group of proverbs using third declension nouns follows the same pattern as yesterday's group: "X is Z's Y" - along with some variations on this pattern as well, so watch out for those, too.

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 20

264. Time is life's teacher. (Compare the similar sayings in Latin Via Proverbs Group 3, Philosophia vitae magistra and Historia magistra vitae.)

265. Necessity is the teacher of skill. (Compare the similar English saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention.")

266. Hunger is the teacher of skills. (In other word, when you're hungry, you'll learn the skills it takes to survive.)

267. Justice is the queen of the virtues. (Notice that because iustitia, "justice," is a feminine noun in Latin, she is the "queen" of the virtues, rather than the "king," rex.)

268. Truth is the daughter of time. (In other words, time brings truth into the world. Because veritas, "truth" is a feminine noun, she is the filia, the "daughter" of time, rather than its son, filius. You can see an emblem with this saying as a motto in Whitney's Choice of Emblems.)

269. Effort the father of glory. (Because labor, "effort," is a masculine noun, he is the pater, the "father" of glory.)

270. Wicked is the madness for money. (This phrase is adapted from Seneca's Phaedra.)

271. Unexpected is the power of death. (This phrase is adapted from a poem by Horace.)

272. Time is the best of teachers. (Notice that the word optimus does not have a noun that it agrees with. Instead, you need to understand that it is part of an implied phrase optimus magister magistrorum, the best teacher (among all) the teachers.)

273. Excessive eating is the mother of sicknesses. (The Latin word gula means "throat" but it also stands for eating, gobbling food down the gullet.)

274. The true philosophy is a meditation on death. (This definition of philosophy is found in Cassiodorus, Isidore, etc.)

275. Music is the companion of joy, and a remedy for sorrows. (This is a motto that was often inscribed on musical instruments.)

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

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