Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 28

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group features third declension nouns, along with first and second declension nouns and adjectives. In addition, each saying contains a prepositional phrase with in, plus the ablative case.

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 28

373. In books there is freedom. (It's impossible to capture the play on words in English, although I guess we could say "there is liberty in libraries"! Not surprisingly, this a motto adopted by many libraries.)

374. In labor, liberty. (In this case, the English is able to convey some of the word-play of the Latin. This proverb probably should be combined with the following proverb to get a true picture of life! In labore libertas AND In libertate labor.)

375. In liberty, there is labor. (A fuller form of this phrase is In servitude dolor, in libertate labor, "In slavery there is grief, in liberty that is labor.")

376. In truth, victory. (Again, the English is hard-pressed to capture the word-play of the Latin. Perhaps we could say, "In truth, triumph." This is a commonly found Latin family motto.)

377. In difficult situations, virtue. (You probably need to supply a verb here in English for the implied verb in Latin: "In difficult situations, virtue can be discerned," or something like that. Here is a variation in Latin: Virescit in arduis virtus, "Virtue flourishes in difficult situations.")

378. There is a pleasure in weeping. (I don't know about you, but I am definitely someone who is prone to have a good cry and feel better for it! This was the motto of the eighteenth-century Swedish Romantic writer Bengt Lidner, famous for his emotional compositions.)

379. There is a pleasure in variety. (This is something like the English saying "variety is the spice of life.")

380. In wine, truth
. (Of course, it is not exactly that people are going to tell the truth when they are drunk. Alcohol usually makes people a bit incoherent, after all. The idea is rather than true feelings come out when people are drunk, and they betray emotions they might otherwise keep hidden.)

381. A mistake in war is death
. (The idea, of course, is that mistakes in everyday life are not a matter of life and death!)

382. Honey in the mouth, bile in the heart. (The idea is that someone can talk sweely while harboring bad feelings. I don't think we could ever manage to capture the double sound-play of Latin mel-fel and ore-corde.)

383. The eyes are the leaders in love. (This is a saying found in the Roman poet Propertius, who goes on to cite as mythological examples poor Paris who was doomed when he saw the beautiful Helen naked, and Endymion, who saw the goddess Diana disrobed.)

384. A healthy mind in a healthy body. (The saying comes from the poet Juvenal, who tells us orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano, "you should pray for a health mind in healthy body.")

385. In clothing there is no wisdom of mind. (The rhyme is very nice in Latin, so perhaps we could say: "In clothing that is fine there is no wisdom of mind.")

386. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. (You can read a wonderful story by H.G. Wells inspired by this proverb: The Country of the Blind.)

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

Keep up with the latest posts... Subscribe by Email. I also post a daily round-up of all the Bestiaria Latina blogs: fables, proverbs, crosswords, and audio.

Find out about these and other children's books in Latin!

No comments: