Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 64

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

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 64

853. One from many. (This United States motto can be found on most U.S. currency today. You can read more about the motto at wikipedia.)

854. One, in fact, but he is a lion. (This is the punch-line to an Aesop's fable about the sow who boasts about her many piglets to the lion who has only one whelp. These are the words of the lion's reply!) Unus quidem, sed leo est.

855. Among friends, there is one mind. (This is a motto you can find in family crests, bookplates, etc. To convey the sense of anima...una, we might say that "friendship is unanimity.")

856. Truth is always one. (Compare a very nice Italian saying: La verità è senza varietà, "verity is without variety.")

857. We are all one people. (The full phrase in Claudianus is: cuncti gens una sumus. nec terminus umquam / Romanae dicionis erit, "we are all one tribe, and there will be no end ever to Roman sovereignty.")

858. Different pace, the same road. (Note that since gradu is in the ablative, the same is no doubt true for via.)

859. One peace is to be preferred to countless triumphs. (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.)

860. The fox has a variety of tricks, but the hedgehog has just one, a big one. (This saying is made most famous by Isaiah Berlin's essay about Leo Tolsoy. There is also a medieval Latin fable which makes the same observation about the fox and the cat.)

861. From one love, many good things. (You can see this motto illustrated in Otto Vaenius's Amoris divini emblemata of 1615.)

862. False in one thing, false in all things. (This is a motto from Roman law, indicating that if a witness is false in one matter, then that witnesses testimony is not to be relied upon in all matters.)

863. More shepherds are worse than one. (Compare the English saying "too many cooks spoil the soup.")

864. The end of one day is the beginning of the other. (Although this motto has many possible metaphorical applications for one's life, I think, it was originally part of the Roman legal tradition.)

865. As unto you, so unto another. (This is the motto of Bowles Hall at UC Berkeley, a residence hall where some of my friends lived when I was an undergraduate!)

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