Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 41

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group is the last set of fourth-declension nouns.

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 41

555. The outcomes of wars are uncertain. (You can find this saying in Cicero. Compare the use of the singular exitus in Proverb 549. Varius et dubius est belli eventus.)

556. Long are the hands of kings. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.2.3, who cites Ovid: an nescis longas regibus esse manus?, "Don't you know that kings have long hands?")

557. The hands of the body are its workers, and the fingers are the pluckers of its strings. (This phrase is adapted from the delightful dialogue of Pipipin and Albin.)

558. The fingers of the hand are not equal to one another, but they are all useful. (Notice that manus here is genitive: manus digiti, "the fingers of the hand." The word usus is dative: "for a use, useful.")

559. Through the waves to the shore. (Notice that fluctus is accusative plural, with the preposition per.)

560. After so many shipwrecks, the harbor. (Notice that portum is in the accusative, so you can supply a verb in English, such as "we reach the harbor," "we find a haven," etc.)

561. In the harbor, calm. (You can also add a verb to the English translation: "In the harbor, there is calm.")

562. Now after great effort, great trifles. (This is a saying adapted from Terence. Notice that nugas is in the accusative, so that you can supply a verb in English: I've ended up with great trifles, you've got great trifles, etc.)

563. In troubles, there is need, not of grief, but of remedy. (This saying appears in Erasmus's Adagia, 3.9.41.)

564. Wisdom is the daughter of practice and of memory. (You will find this saying in Aulus Gellius, who cites Afranius.)

565. Lions at home, foxes abroad. (You can find this saying in Petronius.)

566. An Argus at home, a mole outdoors. (Argus was a hundred-eyed giant, referred to as Argus Panoptes, "Argus the All-Seeing." The mole, on the other hand, was proverbial for its poor eyesight.)

567. Weapons are of little value abroad, unless there is deliberation at home. (You can find this saying in Cicero.)

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