Monday, July 30, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 126

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group includes third conjugation verbs with second 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 126

1634. You're plucking a bald man. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 2.8.37.)

1635. You're looking for a knot in a bulrush. (You can find this saying in Plautus.)

1636. You're raising wolf cubs. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 2.1.86, and it also shows up as the plot of some Aesop's fables.)

1637. You're adding oil to the oven. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.2.9. Compare the English saying "adding fuel to the fire.") .

1638. You're pouring out your words on the winds. (In other words, nobody is listening and your words are simply being carried away on the wind. You can find this expression in Lucretius, among others.)

1639. You're placing treasure in a tomb. (Here is a variant form of the saying as found in Publilius Syrus: Thesaurum in sepulcro ponit, qui senem heredem facit, "Someone who makes an old man his heir is placing his treasure in a tomb.")

1640. I learn happily from someone else's peril. (This statement is usually attributed to Plautus - by Erasmus, among others - but I cannot find the passage in Plautus! If anybody knows where the passage can be found in Plautus, please let me know.)

1641. I grab a profit at someone else's risk. (The Latin word periculum means "danger" but it also means "risk," which is best for the business context here, made clear by the use of lucrum.)

1642. I rise up through difficulties. (This is the motto of the state of Bahia in Brazil.)

1643. I always stick to my own business. (You can find this expression in Seneca's Apocolocyntosis.)

1644. I'm looking for assistance, not advice. (Compare a similar sentiment in Martial: Quod peto da, Gai: non peto consilium, "Give what I ask, Gaius; I don't ask for advice.")

1645. We learn from other people's troubles. (Compare the saying about alieno periculo above, #1640.)

1646. We lose our sure things when we seek things that are not sure. (You can find this saying in Plautus.)

1647. To read well is to conquer the ages. (You will also find this in the form Bene legere saecla vincere. This is a popular inscription for libraries, as at my beloved Doe Library in Berkeley.)

1648. It is most healthy to rise at dawn. (This saying is most famous for its use by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.)

1649. It is not to live that is a good thing, but to live well. (You can find this sentiment in Seneca.)

1650. It's too late to seek advance in the midst of dangers. (You can find this saying in Publilius Syrus.)

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

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