Friday, April 13, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 62

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group features sayings with forms of totus.

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 62

827. All life is lamentable. (You can find this sentiment express in Seneca's De Consolatione for Marcia.)

828. All the life of a man is one day. (You can find this saying in Quintilian.)

829. The whole hedgehog is prickly. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 2.9.59. Metaphorically this is used to describe someone with a difficult or quarrelsome character. As Erasmus says, "it is covered all over with spines, so that you can never touch in unharmed; so too there are people like this, with whom you can in no way do anything except start a quarrel.")

830. My fatherland is the whole world. (This is a saying found in Seneca.)

831. A stolen drink is completely full of sweetness. (Note the nice use of internal rhyme: potus...totus. Compare the English saying, "Stolen fruit tastes sweeter," or its rhyming variation in the lovely poem by Leigh Hunt: "Stolen sweets are always sweeter; stolen kisses are much completer.") Furtivus potus plenus dulcedine totus.

832. If the end is good, then the whole thing is praiseworthy. (Compare the English saying "all's well that ends well.")

833. False in one thing, false in the whole thing. (You can also find the variant sayings, falsum in uno, falsum in omni, and falsum in uno, falsum in omnibus.)

834. Few things, but from the whole heart. (The opposition here is between pauca and toto. The phrase ex toto corde is made famous by the Biblical usage in the commandment in Mark: Et diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo et ex tota anima tua et ex tota mente tua et ex tota virtute tua hoc est primum mandatum, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment.")

835. Not for oneself but for all. (Compare the statement in Lucan: nec sibi sed toti genitum mundo, "born not for oneself but for the whole world's sake.")

836. I am a citizen of the whole world. (This phrase was used, most appropriately as the title for a documentary about Erasmus. The full form of the phrase is me velle civem esse totius mundi, non unius oppidi, "to want to be the citizen of the whole world, not of one town.")

837. The beginning is the half of the whole thing. (In other words: if you can just get started, your are half-way done. A variant of the phrase is principium dimidium operis est, "the beginning is half of the work.")

838. The gullet is the source and origin of all evil. (The Latin gula, "throat, gullet," also gives us the word "gluttony.")

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