Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 35

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group again features third declension adjectives, this time with neuter forms of the adjective omnis.

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 35

477. Everything that is uncommon is expensive. (You can find this sentiment expressed in one of the drinking songs in the medieval Carmina Burana.)

478. Everything good thing is a set of three. (Compare the English saying, "All good things come in threes.")

479. Every set of three is complete. (A fuller form of this phrase is Omne trium perfectum, binum vero imperfectum, "Every set of three is complete, while a set of two is incomplete.")

480. Every beginning is difficult. (You could probably divide tasks into two completely different categories: the ones that are hard to start, as this saying tells us, but then those projects that are so easy to start... but so hard to actually finish!)

481. Every living thing is from an egg. (This was the Latin phrase that opposed the belief in "spontaneous generation." The saying is most famously associated with William Harvey, the 17th-century English physician who is best knwon for his work on the circulation of the bloo.)

482. Every beautiful thing is lovable. (You can see this saying invoked in Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy: "As Proclus holds, Omne pulchrum amabile, every fair thing is amiable, and what we love is fair and gracious in our eyes, or at least we do so apprehend and still esteem of it.") Omne pulchrum amabile.

483. Every good thing is god's gift. (This popular phrase is a motto of the Edwards family.)

484. Every excess is not good. (The word nimium is usually found as an adverb, but here it is used as if it were a noun: "every thing (done to) excess.")

485. Every problem in love is light. (This phrase is adapted from one of the elegies of Propertius.)

486. Not everything sweet is good. (This is part of a larger passage in Thomas a Kempis: Non enim omne altum sanctum, nec omne desiderium purum, nec omne dulce bonum, nec omne carum gratum Deo, "For not every lofty thing is holy, not every longing is pure, not every sweet thing is good, not every precious thing is pleasing to God.")

487. Every land is a fatherland for a real man. (This is adapted from the Fasti of Ovid.)

488. Every land is a fatherland for the strong, as all water is for the fishes. (This phrase is a line from the Fasti of Ovid.)

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