Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 65

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This is a set of proverbs using nil, nihil and nemo.

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 65

866. Nothing in excess. (You can also find this expressed with a verb, in the form nil nimium cupito, "do not want anything too much.")

867. Nothing without effort. (You can find this as the motto of many schools, such as Walkerville Collegiate Institute.) Nil sine labore.

868. Nothing without god. (This adaptation of a line from Vergil's Aeneid is the state motto of Colorado.)

869. Do nothing rashly with those in power. (You can see this motto illustrated in the emblem book, Thronus Cupidinis, published in 1620, showing the story of Hyacinth who rashly competed with his lover Apollo.)

870. There is nothing new under the sun. (Compare a similar saying in the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes: Nihil sub sole novum, "Nothing under the sun is new.")

871. There is nothing new under the sky. (Notice the use of the partitive genitive: in English we can easily say "nothing new," but Latin prefers the genitive construction, "nothing [of] new.")

872. There is nothing new under the moon. (The notion of the "sublunary" world is part of the ancient Greek and Roman cosmological tradition.)

873. Nothing is new in the world. (In an essay, Francis Bacon attributes this bit of wisdom to Solomon himself.)

874. For man, nothing is certain. (This is a saying from Ovid's Tristia.)

875. Nothing is great unless it is good. (You can find this motto widely used in schools, such as the Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School in Pondicherry, India.) Nil magnum nisi bonum.

876. Nothing is blessed in every way. (You can also find this saying in the form Nihil ex omni parte beatum.)

877. Nothing except death is certain. (You can find this saying in Seneca.)

878. Nobody except the wise man is free. (You can find this is the Lemire family motto.)

879. No one except death. (The idea is that no one except death will part us. The phrase was customarily inscribed inside wedding rings.)

This blog post is part of an evolving online guide for users of the book Latin Via Proverbs.

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