Thursday, September 13, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 147

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group includes third conjugation verbs in their present infinitive form, along with some 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 147

1887. It is a serious thing to betray someone's trust. (This is a phrase from the Roman law tradition, but of course it has applications to personal life as well!)

1888. It's hard to pluck the hairs of a bald man. (It's like getting blood from a stone, proverbially speaking! This saying always reminds me of the great Aesop's fable about the man and his two lovers who plucked him bald.)

1889. It is hard to put aside a long-lasting love. (You can find this saying in Catullus.)

1890. It is late for the old dogs to learn the leash. (You can also find various forms of this saying about the old dog: serum est canes vetulos adsuefacere loris, etc. Compare the English saying about teaching an old dog new tricks!)

1891. It is better to divide a few things than to loss all. (This is one of many proverbs which urge you to put aside your greed and accept a moderate amount - in this case, the moderate amount that would come from sharing something modest to begin with. Compare a similar structure in this saying: Melius est pauca caute agere, quam multis interesse periculose, "It is better to carefully conduct a few businesses than to engage in many businesses at great risk.")

1892. To flee desire is to win a kingdom. (You will find this in the sayings of Publilius Syrus.)

1893. It is easier to do many things than it is to sustain them. (You will find this observation in Quintilian.)

1894. To accept a favor is to sell your freedom. (This is one of the sayings of Publilius Syrus.)

1895. To learn virtues is to unlearn vices. (You will find this saying in Seneca.)

1896. It is a kind of death to live badly. (You will find this saying in Ovid.)

1897. A wise man complies with time. (This is adapted from one of Cicero's letters.)

1898. Every madman thinks that everybody else is crazy. (This proverb, which oddly enough has become a regular fixture of Internet discussion boards these days, reminds me of the English saying: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you!)

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

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