Thursday, August 09, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 130

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group includes third 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 130

1697. The deaf man is asking for a flute-player. (You can also this in the abbreviated form surdus tibicinem where you have to rely on the use the nominative and accusative case to figure out what is going on in the saying.)

1698. The bald man is asking for a comb. (This idea provides the basis for one of the fables of Phaedrus.)

1699. The crab is grasping for the rabbit. (You can find this saying in Erasmsu's Adagia, 2.4.78. The idea is that this is an absurdity: a slow-moving awkward crab can never catch up to the rabbit.)

1700. The cart is pulling the ox. (This is the Latin equivalent of putting the cart before the horse! You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.7.28.)

1701. He's adding fronds to the forest. (This is another of those fool's errands, like carrying coals to Newcastle in the English saying.)

1702. He's stealing Hercules's club. (You can find a variant on this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 4.1.95. This is a tricky task, since Hercules and his club are inseparable!)

1703. The thief lets the nude man go. (You can find this saying in Seneca.)

1704. Hard work overcomes poverty. (This old idea is still vital today; see this BBC article: Culture of hard work overcomes poverty.)

1705. Death spares no one. (Notice the use of the dative case with the verb parcit.)

1706. No one lives a life without fault. (This is adapted from one of the distichs of Cato.)

1707. Conscience discloses the crime. (Compare a similar saying, conscientia animam verberat, "conscience lashes the soul.")

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

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