Saturday, July 31, 2010


The notes here are taken from the actual Scala, so be warned that references to the "previous" proverb refer to its order in the Scala, not its order here. You can read more about the word at the Verbosum blog: AB.

Ab uno amore multa bona. ~ Note: You can see this motto illustrated in one of the love emblems of Otto Vaenius.

Cui multum datum est, multum quaeretur ab eo. ~ Note: Note the future tense: quaeretur. This saying is included by Polydorus in his Adagia, B51; the words are from the Gospel of Luke, 12.

Qui petit a te, da ei. ~ Note: As often in Latin, the relative cause comes before its so-called antecedent. You can re-arrange the saying as: Da ei, qui petit a te. You can find this Biblical saying in Matthew 5:42.

A magnis, maxima. ~ Note: This expresses the idea that from big things come the biggest things, the greatest outcomes, the largest effects, etc.

A Deo rex, a rege lex. ~ Note: This proverb plays upon the sound similarities between "rex" and "lex" to assert a natural relationship between them, based on the principle of absolute monarchy.

Quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est. ~ Note: The words are from one of Seneca's letters, 26.

Alta a longe cognoscuntur. ~ Note: Note that the plural verb, cognoscuntur, lets you know that alta needs to be neuter plural: tall things, lofty things. Note the adverb longe being used as the complement of the preposition a, "from afar."

Disce, sed a doctis. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings included in the distichs attributed to the so-called "Cato." Here is the complete distich: Disce sed a doctis, indoctos ipse doceto: / propaganda etenim est rerum doctrina bonarum.

Qui bonus est, ab eo bona discito. ~ Note: Note the contrast between "bonus," the good person, masculine singular, and "bona," the good things, neuter plural.

Quid faciendum sit, a faciente discendum est. ~ Note: Note the very nice use of two different gerundives here, both of them expressing the idea of necessity. The subjunctive sit is because you have an indirect question here, introduced by quid.

Nihil est ab omni parte beatum. ~ Note: The indeclinable nihil is regarded as a neuter singular, hence the neuter form of the participle, beatum. This is one of the sayings Erasmus included in his Adagia, 3.1.87.

Homo a suo socio cognoscitur. ~ Note: For an Aesop's fable about this topic, see the fable of the stork and the farmer.

Noli vinci a malo, sed vince in bono malum. ~ Note: Note the passive infinitive with noli: do not be conquered, refuse to be defeated. The words come from Paul's letter to the Romans, 12.

Fuge procul a viro maiore. ~ Note: Note the comparative here: not just a magnus vir, but a maior vir - a man who is greater than you are. This is one of the sayings Erasmus included in his Adagia, 3.4.60.

Procul ab oculis, procul a corde. ~ Note: Compare the English saying, "Out of sight, out of mind."

Quidquid futurum est summum, ab imo nascitur.

Sapientior omnibus eris, si ab omnibus discere volueris. ~ Note: The rhyme, eris-volueris, reveals the medieval provenance of this saying.

Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto. ~ Note: The words are from Terence's Heauton Timorumenos.

Si nocueris, noceberis ab alio. ~ Note: The form nocueris is active, while nocueberis is passive: If you do harm, you will be harmed by someone else. It's a karma proverb!

A sapiente viro sapientiam discere convenit. ~ Note: Compare the saying you saw earlier: Qui bonus est, ab eo bona discito.

Fortuna a deo petenda, a se ipso sumenda sapientia.

Nemo ab alio contemnitur, nisi a se ante contemptus. ~ Note: The words are from Seneca's treatise, De Consolatione.

Cave ab eo quem non nosti. ~ Note: Notice that you can be wary of something in the accusative (cave canem), but you can also be wary of something with the preposition ab, as you can see in this saying: cave ab eo...

Tangor, non frangor, ab undis.

Non est enim potestas nisi a Deo. ~ Note: The words are from Paul's letter to the Romans, 13. This saying is included by Polydorus in his Adagia, B203.

Libera nos a malo. ~ Note: This forms part of the Lord's Prayer as given in the Gospel of Matthew, 6.

Ne Dii quidem a morte liberant. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings Erasmus included in his Adagia, 3.9.49.

Procul a Iove, procul a fulmine. ~ Note: See the previous saying: Procul a Iove, procul a fulgure. Compare the saying included by Erasmus in his Adagia, 1.3.96: Porro a Iove atque fulmine. Compare also the version in Wegeler, 32: A Iove si procul es, procul atque a fulmine vives.

Cavete ab omni avaritia. ~ Note: As you have seen before, the verb cavere can take an ablative phrase, in the sense of avoiding or keeping away from, as here: ab omni avaritia.

A bove ante, ab asino retro, a stulto undique caveto.

Ab amico reconciliato cave. ~ Note: This item is listed in Tosi, 1313.

Ab homine et flumine taciturno cave.

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