Sunday, June 10, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 105

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This is another group of proverbs with second conjugation verbs, including both first and second declension nouns. (The next group will move on to third declension nouns!)

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 105

1364. I am not afraid, but I am wary. (This is a popular motto, and is part of the Strawn family coat of arms.)

1365. I do not fear, nor do I boast. (The verb tumere means to swell up, like a "tumor," but it also means metaphorically to swell with pride.)

1366. I mix serious matters with joking ones. (Notice the substantive use of the adjective seria.) Misceo iocis seria.

1367. I'm trying to hold an eel by the tail. (Given that eels are proverbially slippery, this is a tenuous situation at best. You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.4.94.)

1368. I am holding an eel with a fig leaf. (Since a fig leaf is rough and bristly, this could be your best chance to keep hold of that eel. You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.4.95. There is an illustrated version in Alciato's Emblems.)

1369. I see no footsteps leading out. (This is a saying from the famous Aesop's fable about the fox and the lion in the den.)

1370. You are teaching someone who has already been taught. (You can find this saying in Plautus.)

1371. You are shearing a donkey. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.4.80.)

1372. You are milking a goat. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.3.51.)

1373. You are applying the antidote before the poison. (This is a based on a saying from Jerome, which you can find in his De Canone Hebraicae veritatis et Scholiis ejusdem marginalibus.)

1374. You are mixing sacred with profane things. (You can find this same theme in Horace's Ars Poetica.) Sacra misces profanis.

1375. You are mixing sky with earth, earth and sky. (In other words, you are making a muddle of everything! You can find this saying, in the form Caelum ac terras miscere in Livy.)

1376. We laugh at other people's troubles. (This is the basis for all kinds of comedy, such as watching the troubles of the Wile E. Coyote as he chases that Road Runner.)

1377. We keep other people's faults in view, but ours are at our back. (This is the subject of an Aesop's fable about the two sacks we are all given to wear.)

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