Thursday, March 08, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 42

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group features, for the first time, fifth-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 42

568. Hope is the last goddess. (In other words, when all the other gods have deserted you, Hope is the last one who stands by you.)

569. A friend is a rare thing. (You can find many variations on this saying such as: Amicus verus, res rara, "A true friend is a rare thing," or Amicus certus, rara avis, "A sure friend is a rare bird.")

570. Love is a credulous thing. (You can find this phrase in Ovid.)

571. Beauty is a thing that is fleeting. (You will find this phrase in Seneca's play, Phaedra.)

572. No day without a line. (This famous saying is attributed to the painter Apelles. The line referred to is the line of a drawing, or a line of writing; every artist needs to do some work, even just a little bit, every day.)

573. No day is altogether bad. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia 4.10.88.)

574. Hope is the best nurse of the soul. (You can find this motto illustrated in the emblems of Otto Vaenius.)

575. The face is the mirror of the mind. (You can find this in an epigram of Godfrey of Winchester: Est speculum mentis facies, oculique revelant / Qualia sunt intus mens animusque hominis., "The face is the mirror of the mind, and the eyes reveal what the mind and thinking of a person are inwardly.")

576. Desire is a limitless thing. (You can see this illustrated in the emblems of Jacob Cats, with an image of the dog who holds a piece of meat in his mouth, but who longs for something bigger.)

577. While there is life, there is hope. (Notice the use of Latin est to mean "there is" or "there exists," without a predicate.)

578. In the heart is hope, strength, and life. (The Latin word vis appears in only a few forms; vis is the nominative singular, with vim the accusative singular, and you will also commonly see vires the plural form, nominative and accusative.)

579. While the sick person still has breath, there is hope. (This is a phrase adapted from Cicero's letters.)

580. O the credulous hope oflovers, O deceptive love! (This is phrase from Seneca's play, Phaedra.)

581. The following day is the student of the day gone by. (This is a saying found in Publilius Syrus.)

582. Daytime is the image of life, night is the image of death. (I like this proverb very much, because the notion of sleep or night being the image of death is common, but here it is paired with the idea of the waking day as the image of life.)

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