Monday, March 12, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 44

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group features the final set of sayings that feature 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 44

593. Rome is the head of things. (You can find this statement in Livy.)

594. Peace is the best of things. (You can find this sentiment expressed in Silius Italicus. This is part of a long passage in praise of peace which begins pax optima rerum quas homini nouisse datum est, pax una triumphis innumeris potior, "peace is the best of things which it is given to man to know, a single peace is more powerful than countless triumphs," etc.)

595. Freedom is the best of things. (This phrase was the personal motto of William Wallace, the great Scottish patriot and warrior of the 13th century. The full version of the quote is dico tibi verbum: libertas optima rerum; nunquam servili sub nexo vivito, fili, "I tell you a true thing: freedom is the best of things; never live under the bond of slavery, my son.")

596. The tongue is the best of things, and the worst. (There is an incident in the Life of Aesop where Aesop's master, Xanthus the philosopher, orders Aesop to prepare the best possible banquet for his philosopher friends, so Aesop served course after course of tongues, boiled, fried, in a soup, and so on. Xanthus was furious, and ordered Aesop to serve the worst possible dish the next day. So, on the next day, Aesop served tongue again, because the tongue is both the best and the worst of things.)

597. Memory is the storehouse of all things and their guardian. (This phrase is adapted from Cicero's De Oratore.)

598. Nature is the mother of all things. (Compare a similar saying in Cicero: mater omnium bonarum rerum sapientia, "wisdom is the mother of all good things.")

599. The beginnings of all things are small. (This is also a saying from Cicero.)

600. Time is the eater of things. (This is a saying from Ovid's Metamorphoses.)

601. Time is the ruler of things. (This is an inscription you will commonly find on sundials.)

602. Time is the best judge of all things. (You can read a commentary about a very similar saying, Tempus est optimus iudex, at the Latin Audio Proverbs blog.)

603. Money alone is the rudder of all affairs. (This is a saying from Publilius Syrus.)

604. Death is the final boundary of things. (This is a saying you will find in Horace.) Mors ultima linea rerum est.

605. There are tears for things. (This phrase is found in Book I of Vergil's Aeneid: "sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt." Aeneas speaks these words as he looks at a depiction of the Trojan War on the walls of a Carthaginian temple. Aeneas is moved when he sees these things depicted, and it makes him remember his dead friends. The phrase can be translated as "There is weeping for the business of the world, and mortal things touch the heart.")

606. A sea of words, a drop of action. (This is a very vivid way to describe someone who is all talk, and no action.)

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: