I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This is another group of proverbs with first conjugation verbs, along with first, second, and third declension nouns.
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.
1196. You're plowing the shore. (As Petrarch wrote in his Latin poem Ad Seipsum, sterili quid semen arenae commitis? quid litus aras?, "Why do you entrust seed to the fruitless sands? Why plow the shore?")
1197. You're trying to inflate a net. (Manutius includes this in his appendix to the Adagia, citing the Suda. He also comments, Quid enim stultius, qui vanior labor, quam rete foraminosum vento conati distendere?, "What indeed is more foolish, what effort is more in vain, than to try to fill up a net, itself full of holes, with wind?")
1198. You're beating stones. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 2.5.72.)
1199. You're provoking a lion. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.1.61.)
1200. You're irritating an octopus. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.1.63.)
1201. You're stirring up hornets. (You can find a similar saying, irritas crabrones in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.1.60.)
1202. You're building in air. (This is a phrase used on several occasions by Augustine, meaning something like the English "building castles in air.")
1203. You've lost your way in broad daylight. (The Latin in media luce, "in the middle of the light," is the equivalent of the English "in broad daylight.")
1204. You're trying to catch the winds with nets. (There are variants on this phrase, such as reti ventum venaris, "you're hunting the wind with a net," etc.)
1205. You're casting your seed into the sand. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.4.52.)
1206. You're trying to get water from a pumice stone. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.4.75.)
1207. A mere stream, you are contending with the sea. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.9.76.)
1208. You're comparing crabs to a rabbit. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.8.85.)
1209. You're comparing a turtle to Pegasus. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.8.76.)
1210. You're equating shadows with light. (This proverb is a good example of how the as ending can mark a first conjugation verb, aequas but also a first declension noun, umbras.)
1211. You're a falcon when it comes to my errors but a mole when it comes to your own. (The contrast is between the keen-sighted falcon and the proverbially blind mole, meaning that someone quickly sees another errors while being blind to their own.)
This blog post is part of an evolving online guide for users of the book Latin Via Proverbs.
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