Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Latin Proverbs 113

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 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. You can find more help at the LatinViaProverbs.com wiki website.

Group 113

1460. Thieves lurk at night. (You can find this saying in Catullus.)

1461. Poison lurks beneath the honey. (This saying is adapted from Ovid.)

1462. Truth and roses have thorns. (There are many sayings about roses and their thorns, e.g., Saepe creat molles aspera spina rosas, "The sharp thorn often begets soft roses.")

1463. The walls have ears. (You can find this discussed in Tosi 230.)

1464. The gods have woolen feet. (In other words, you cannot hear them coming. You can find this saying in Petronius.)

1465. The gods hold us humans like balls. (You can find this saying in Plautus.)

1466. Tears also have the weight of a voice. (You can find this saying in Ovid's Heroides.)

1467. Lies always have short legs. (You can find this modified version, with a caveat, in English: "Lies have short legs, as an old saying goes, but they do get around.")

1468. Kings fear everyone. (This is adapted from Publilius Syrus: Regibus peius est multo quam servientibus: re vera, quia illi singulos, isti universos timent, "It is far worse for kings than for those who serve: indeed, those who serve fear some individuals, but kings fear everyone.")

1469. Even flies bite a dead lion. (There are various sayings about the poor dead lion: Leonem mortuum etiam catuli morsicant, "Even the puppies nip at the dead lion," Leoni mortuo et lepores insultant, "Even the rabbits leap upon the dead lion," etc.)

1470. We hold fools by their words, a donkey by the ears. (There are quite a few sayings about the donkey and his proverbially long ears, but this is one of my favorites!)

1471. Beneath a person's skin lurk many wild beasts. (Note the distinctively Latin form of the prepositional phrase: humana sub cute, just as in the phrase magna cum laude, etc.)

1472. Three things motivate a man: honor, profit, pleasure. (Folklore is fond of threes, so you can find many sayings based on this same pattern, such as this Biblical saying from Sirach: Tres species odivit anima mea... Pauperem superbum et divitem mendacem et senem fatuum..., "My soul hates three types: a poor man that is boastful, a rich man who is a liar, and an old man who is a fool.")

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

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