Friday, December 14, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 154

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group includes more sayings with third conjugation verbs, present active indicative.

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 Study Guide material at the wiki website.

Group 154

1970. The sun rules me; the shadow rules you. (This is a Latin sundual motto.)

1971. He does not rule who does not correct. (The Latin depends on a play on words that is hard to catch in English, since both regit and corrigit share the same verbal root in Latin. You will find this saying in Isidore, in his explanation of the etymology of the word "king," rex: rex a regendo. Non autem regit, qui non corrigit. Recte igitur faciendo regis nomen tenetur, peccando amittitur.)

1972. It is God who rules all things. (Compare a similar phrase in Manilius: Deus est ratio quae cuncta gubernat.)

1973. There is yet some god who has regard for us. (You can find this saying in Erasmus's Adagia, 3.9.42, paraphrasing a passage in Homer's Iliad.)

1974. The man who desires nothing is rich. (Compare Publilius Syrus: Quis plurimum habet? is qui minimum cupit.)

1975. No one gets rich except by someone else's misfortune. (You could call this the Latin "zero-sum" game. There is a discussion in Tosi, #1806.)

1976. The one who wants more, loses all. (Compare this saying from Odo: totum capit, totum perdit.)

1977. He who gets wise late, gets wise in vain. (There are many proverbs warning about the dangers of wising up too late: Sero in periculis est consilium quaerere, Sero sapiunt Phryges, etc.)

1978. The old pot tastes of what goes in the new pot. (Compare these similar sayings: Sapiunt vasa, quicquid primum acceperunt; Quo semel imbuta est recens, servabit odorem testa diu, etc.)

1979. He reads in vain who reads without understanding. (The Latin depends on a play on words, legis...intellegit, which I was not able to capture in the English.)

1980. The madness of one can make many go mad. (The word order of the Latin is very nice, and hard to imitate in English!)
Unius dementia dementes efficit multos.

1981. The whole city pays for the crimes of a single person. (Be careful with the word endings: peccata is neuter plural, while tota is feminine singular, agreeing with civitas.)

1982. A mouse cannot put his faith in just one hole. (You can find this in Erasmus's Adagia, 5.1.4.)

1983. A single bee is better than five thousand flies. (Compare this similar saying: una apis melior est tota vola muscarum, or this rhyming version: Muscis plena vola deterior est ape sola.)

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

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