Thursday, June 28, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 109

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group includes more second conjugation verbs, with 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. You can find more help at the wiki website.

Group 109

1408. Spring does not always flourish. (It's impossible to get the word play of ver and viret in the English, I'm afraid!)

1409. A single night awaits everyone. (You can find this saying in Horace.)

1410. The end does not appear immediately. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 4.5.55.)

1411. No one sees his own eye. (The idea, of course, is that you cannot get outside yourself to see yourself. The proverb expresses this rather complex metaphysical idea very succinctly!)

1412. No one sees his own vices. (For an Aesop's fable on this theme, see the story of Jupiter and the sacks.)

1413. Greed encompasses all the vices. (You can find this saying in Aulus Gellius.)

1414. All filth smells bad. (The Latin word caenum always has a negative connotation, whether it refers to actual physical filth or muck, or whether it refers to the metaphorical filth, as in the English "dirty.")

1415. A liar has to have a good memory. (You can find this saying in Quintilian.)

1416. The law commands; it does not suggest. (You can also find variants on this saying, such as Lex non suadet, sed praecipit, "The law does not suggest, it orders.")

1417. Love considers no laws. (Compare also this form: Amor regit sine lege, "love rules without law.")

1418. The fly also has its spleen. (A fuller form of the phrase is habet et musca splenem et formica bilem, "the fly also has its spleen, and the ant its bile." You can find the saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 3.5.7.)

1419. He has an ox on his tongue. (Although this saying makes sense if you think of an actual ox which would weigh down your tongue, in its ancient usage the "ox" referred to coins that were stamped with the image of an ox. In other words, someone has been bribed to stay silent. Compare this variant phrase: Bovem in lingua fert, "He's carrying an ox on his tongue.")

1420. A liar lacks honor in his mouth. (Note the nice rhyme in the Latin: ore-honore.)

1421. A dead dog does not bite. (The Latin also has the nice play on words: mortuus-mordet.)

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

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