Saturday, June 30, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 110

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 110

1422. Right does not prevail against might. (Be careful with Latin ius. You will find two words in the dictionary: ius meaning "law, justice," etc., and ius meaning sauce, as in a roast beef sandwich "au just.")

1423. Reason avails little against force. (Of course the Latin word vim has become an English word in its own right, as in "vim and vigor," but with much more strictly positively connotations than the Latin word, which means force or strength, but also violent force, overpowering strength, etc.)

1424. The capacious urn shakes every name. (You will find this saying in Horace, hence the decidedly poetic word order.)

1425. Death indeed is a sure thing; the hour of the funeral is hidden. (There are many variations on this same idea: Incertum est quando, certum est aliquando mori, "it is uncertain when, but death, at some point, is certain," mors certa, hora mortis incerta, "death is certain; its hour is uncertain," etc.)

1426. War hides beneath the name of peace. (As in our "Defense Department," which used to be called - more honestly, I think - the "War Department." You can find this saying in Cicero.)

1427. Life hangs by a slender thread. (Erasmus discusses the idiom de filo pendere in his Adagia, 1.9.72.)

1428. An heir is usually something like a vulture. (You can find this emblem in the Horatii Flacci Emblemata of Otto Vaenius, 1612.)

1429. On this side presses the wolf, and on that side the dog. (You can find this saying in Horace.)

1430. It's got neither head nor feet. (You can find this idiom in Cicero. Compare the English, "I can't make heads or tails out of it.")

1431. One man cannot see all things. (You can find many variants on this saying: oculi plus vident quam oculus, "eyes see better than an eye," unus vir haud cernit omnia, "one man does not discern all things," etc.)

1432. Not even Jupiter can please everybody. (You can find this in Erasmsu's Adagia, 2.7.55. Note the construction ne...quidem, "not...even," with the noun Iuppter inserted in between the two components of the phrase, ne and quidem.)

1433. King Midas has donkey ears. (You can find this in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.3.67, and you can read the story of King Midas and his donkey ears in Ovid.)

1434. The neighbor's goat has a more bursting udder. (You can find this saying expressed in a slightly different form in Horace. Compare the English saying, "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.")

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

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1 comment:

peacay said...

The Polish Digital Library have just uploaded a colour version of 'Horatii Flacci emblemata' by Otto van Veen [1607]. Très élégant!