Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 50

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group features another set of proverbial sayings based on the comparative form of the adjective.

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 50

666. The gods give better things to pious people. (The nominative di and dative piis expresses the meaning of this proverb without a verb, but you have to supply a verb in English, e.g. the gods give, may the gods give, the gods will give, etc. You can find the sentiment expressed in Vergil's Georgics.)

667. Hard things become softer with use. (The Latin does not have a verb, but a verb needs to be supplied in the English. You can find this saying illustrated in Whitney's emblems, citing the Aesopic fable of the lion and the fox.) Dura usu molliora.

668. Deeds are stronger than words. (I've also seen a more full version of the saying as follows: facta potentiora verbis; fructu non foliis arborem aestima, "deeds are more powerful than words; judge the tree by the fruit, not the leaves.")

669. Deeds are more challenging than words. (You can find this saying expressed in a letter of Cicero.)

670. The remedies are more grievous than the dangers. (This is a saying of Publilius Syrus. Compare the English saying: "the cure is worse than the disease.")

671. Things that are few but sure are better than things that are not sure. (Compare a similar saying: praesentia incertis meliora, "present things are better than things that are not sure.")

672. From bad to worse. (This is the title of an epigram by John Owen, which begins: Incidit in Scyllam cupiens vitare Charybdim / Qui morbum fugiens incidit in medicum., "Wanting to avoid Charybdis, he falls into Scylla; he who flees a disease runs into the doctor."

673. Alas alack, it's getting worse every day. (The Latin does not have a verb, but you need to supply a verb in the English. You can find this expression in Petronius.)

674. Faster, higher, stronger. (This is the motto of the Olympics, as proposed by the International Olympic Committee in 1894.)

675. Old age is a burder weightier than Mount Aetna. (This saying is adapted from Cicero's De Senectute. Mount Aetna is an active volcano in Sicily.)

676. The lard is fatter in the neighbor's pot. (Compare the English saying, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.")

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