Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 142

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group includes more third declension nouns with third conjugation verbs - I had forgotten how many proverbs there are with this common combination!

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 142

1829. You are making me wear a lion's skin. (Hercules, of course, was most famous for dressing in a lion skin, so this can refer to someone being asked to take on a task that is too great for him, something Herculean. The proverb can also be taken as an allusion to the famous Aesop's fable about the donkey in the lion's skin. In both cases, the idea is the same: you should not pretend to be a lion, or a Hercules, if you are not one. You can find the saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.3.66.)

1830. You are looking for water all over the sea. (In other words: you are a foolish person! It's right there! Compare Propertius: insanus medio flumine quaeris aquam, "a crazy man, you are seeking water in the midst of the stream.")

1831. You are trying to get water from stone. (Compare the English saying about trying to get "blood from a stone." You can also find this in the negative form: Aquam a pumice ne expostules, "Don't ask for water from a stone.")

1832. You are pouring water into the sea. (You will find this saying in Ovid.)

1833. You are adding water to sea. (Compare the similarly foolish notion: In mari aquam quaeris, "you are looking for water in the sea." Of course the sea is full of water: you should be able to find it without any trouble, and the sea has plenty of water without you adding any more.)

1834. You are adding fire to fire. (Sometimes you will find this in the negative form: ignem igni ne addas, "don't add fire to the fire." You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.2.8.)

1835. You are adding flame to flame, and water to the sea. (You will find this saying in Ovid.)

1836. You are leading the little stream to a great flood. (In other words, you are adding in some trivial detail to a serious matter of some sort. You will find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 3.1.44.)

1837. You are casting your seeds into the ocean. (Compare the similar saying: In aqua sementem facis, "you are sowing in water.")

1838. You are letting the wild boars into the springs. (Needless to say, the boars are going to muddy the clear waters of the springs! The saying is derived from Vergil.)

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

Keep up with the latest posts... Subscribe by Email. I also post a daily round-up of all the Bestiaria Latina blogs: fables, proverbs, crosswords, and audio.

No comments: