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: CREDO.

Quod video, id credo mihi.

Quod non legitur, non creditur. ~ Note: Compare the English saying, "Seeing is believing." This proverb advises us that reading is believing!

Vide et crede. ~ Note: Compare the English saying: Seeing is believing.

Ne omnibus credas. ~ Note: Here the negating word is "ne," which means it goes with the subjunctive verb: ne credas (compare the previous proverb: non crede).

Non omni verbo credas. ~ Note: Notice here the independent use of the subjunctive as a kind of imperative - you should trust what people say (credas), but not every single word they say (non omni verbo).

Non omnibus crede. ~ Note: Notice that the "non" does not go with the verb here, but rather with the word "omnibus" so that you could render it in English as "Believe not everything" (although that sounds a bit more odd in English than it does in the Latin!).

Id quod volunt, credunt quoque. ~ Note: The idea here is that when someone wants something, they are quick to believe it.

Non opus est verbis; credite rebus. ~ Note: The phrase opus est takes an ablative complement, verbis, while credite takes a dative complement: rebus.

Non est credendum omni verbo. ~ Note: This proverbs shows the gerundive used impersonally to express a command: credendum. Although this is something that seems awkward in English ("it is to be believed), it is quite simple in Latin; a single word - the neuter form of the gerund - clearly expresses the idea of necessity: credendum... sed non omni verbo!

Tibi ut vincas est credendum. ~ Note: Here you have ut with a subjunctive verb: "so that you might be victorious." The impersonal neuter gerundive expresses the idea of a command or necessity, with the agent in the dative: tibi est credendum, "You must have faith..."

Male creditis hosti. ~ Note: You can find this observation of the danger of trusting one's enemies in Ovid's Fasti, 2: Quo ruitis, generosa domus? Male creditis hosti: / simplex nobilitas, perfida tela cave.

Agere sequitur credere. ~ Note: Here the infinitives are functioning as verbal nouns. The idea is that you have to have faith first, and action then follows: Agere (action) sequitur credere (believing).

Ne aliis de se quisquam plus quam sibi credat.

Virtuti melius quam fortunae creditur. ~ Note: For the impersonal construction melius creditur, it is better to use the active rather than the passive in English: "It is better to trust in ability than in luck."

Ore lego, corde credo. ~ Note: This is a motto of the Hamilton family.

Beati qui non viderunt, et crediderunt. ~ Note: You will find these words in the Gospel of John, 20. This saying is included by Polydorus in his Adagia, B126.

Contra spem in spem credidit. ~ Note: These words also come from Paul's letter to the Romans, 8.

Quod volumus, facile credimus. ~ Note: Note that the antecedent of the relative pronoun is implied but not stated: (Hoc), quod volumus, facile credimus.

Omnia quae dicunt homines tu credere noli.

Plus aliis de te, quam tu tibi, credere noli. ~ Note: This is from one of the distichs of the so-called Cato: Cum te aliquis laudat, iudex tuus esse memento; / Plus aliis de te, quam tu tibi, credere noli.

Credendum est veteribus. ~ Note: The verb credere takes a dative complement, as here: veteribus. As you have now seen many times already, the neuter of the gerundive can be used to express necessity, a kind of impersonal command. In English we might say, "You should..." - "We must..." - "It is necessary to..."

Nulli nimium credite. ~ Note: Note the sneaky dative form of nullus: nulli, with the verb credite, which takes a dative complement. Nimium, as in the previous proverb, is adverbial: trust no one overmuch.

Oculis credendum potius quam auribus. ~ Note: Here you have the neuter gerundive used to express necessity, with oculis in the dative (the verb credere takes a dative complement): oculis credendum = debemus oculis credere, "we should trust our eyes"

Oculis magis quam auribus credendum est. ~ Note: Now the distinction is between the credibility of eyes versus ears. Compare the English saying, "Seeing is believing."

Mihi crede: non potes esse dives et felix. ~ Note: This is from a collection of proverbs that circulated in the Middle Ages under Seneca's name (sometimes called the Liber Senecae, or the Proverbia Senecae).

Ne cito credas! ~ Note: This expresses the negative command using ne and subjunctive: credas.

Qui cito credit, cito perit. ~ Note: This proverbs offers up a warning with the rhyme: credit-perit.

Quod valde volumus, facile credimus.

Ne crede oculis; falli possunt. ~ Note: Note the passive infinitive, falli: they can be fooled.

Miranda canunt, sed non credenda, poetae.

Vitium est et omnibus credere et nulli. ~ Note: Here the infinitive credere is being used as a noun: It is a fault both to believe everybody (omnibus credere) and also to believe nobody (nulli credere).

Utrumque vitium est: et omnibus credere et nulli. ~ Note: Note that the two verb phrases, "omnibus credere" and "nulli credere," are acting as nouns here, coordinated by (both... and...).

Vitium est omnia credere, vitium nihil credere. ~ Note: This is the same idea as in the previous saying, but now expressed in terms of omnia v. nihil.

Quod quisque sperat, facile credit. ~ Note: The previous proverb used the first person plural to convey a sense of universality; here the pronoun quisque accomplishes the same task.

Crede mihi: miseris caelestia numina parcunt.

Amantes libenter credunt quod optant. ~ Note: Of course, this gullibility is not confined to lovers, as you saw earlier: Ea credimus libenter quae cupimus.

Ea credimus libenter quae cupimus. ~ Note: This proverb plays with a nice sound play between credimus and cupimus. For a less euphonic version of this same idea, compare this saying: Homines libenter credunt quod volunt.

Cave amicum credas, nisi si quem probaveris. ~ Note: You can also use a subjunctive with cavere, as here: cave amicum credas, "be wary of trusting a friend."

Quod nimis miseri volunt, hoc facile credunt. ~ Note: The words are from Seneca's tragedy, Hercules Furens.

Qui leviter credit, deceptus saepe recedit.

Qui cito credit, cito decipitur. ~ Note: Compare a similar warning that you saw earlier: Qui cito credit, cito perit.

Qui leviter credit, deceptus saepe redit. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 1027.

Qui facile credit, facile decipitur. ~ Note: While the previous saying was about trusting too quickly (cito), this saying warns about the dangers of trusting too easily (facile).

Ne fronti crede.

Noli fronti credere.

Nolito fronti credere.

Crede certis rebus, non verbis inanibus.

Maximae cuique fortunae minime credendum est. ~ Note: The Latin play on words with maximae-minime is very hard to catch in English, and very elegant! The words are from Livy's history, 30.

Experto credite. ~ Note: You can find various Latin authors making this claim: citations. Remember that the verb credere takes a dative complement, hence the form experto, dative.

Ne credas vulgo, vulgus mutatur in hora.

Cras credo, hodie nihil. ~ Note: Although the Latin word "credo" has a range of meaning that reaches far beyond English "credit," you can sometimes see this motto in bars, where customers are expected to pay their bill, and not drink on credit!

Ridenti domino et caelo ne crede sereno.

Ridenti domino nec caelo crede sereno. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 1146: Ridenti domino nec caelo crede sereno; / ex facili causa dominus mutatur et aura.

Ne credas isti, semel a quo laesus abisti. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 663.

Numquam imperator ita paci credit, ut non se praeparet bello.

Primus est deorum cultus deos credere.

Priscis et veteribus credendum est. ~ Note: This expands on the previous saying - not just veteribus, but priscibus also.

Priscis credendum. ~ Note: This variation has just priscis. This form of the saying is collected by Erasmus in his Adagia, 4.10.51.

Quod fugere credas, saepe solet occurrere.

Quo minime creditur gurgite piscis erit.

Oculis magis quam opinioni credendum.

Raro credatur homo qui plurima fatur.

Caelo tonantem credidimus Iovem regnare.

Nihil temere credideris. ~ Note: This is one of the monostichs of Cato (so-called).

Da requiem; requietus ager bene credita reddit.

Uni testi, ne Catoni quidem, credendum. ~ Note: This proverb invokes the famous moral integrity of Cato the Younger. Yet even the word of Cato, honest as he was, cannot stand on its own: every piece of evidence must be corroborated; one witness is not enough.

Insanus omnis furere credit ceteros.

Cuilibet in arte sua perito est credendum.

Mendaci ne verum quidem dicenti creditur.

Mendaci neque cum vera dicit creditur.

Periculosum est credere et non credere. ~ Note: Here you have a paralle proverb: Periculosum est credere et (periculosum est ) non credere.

Ne cuivis credas, neque nulli. ~ Note: Note the negative command with a subjunctive: ne credas. You can't believe just anybody (cuivis) - but it is also a mistake to believe no one at all (nulli, dative).

Ebrio credendum.

Fallaci nimium ne crede lucernae.

Is cito mus capitur latebrae qui credidit uni.

Unius testimonium non credatur.

Unius testimonium non est credendum.

Nullis tutum credere blanditiis.

Omnia possibilia sunt credenti.

Si potes credere, omnia possibilia credenti.

Casus ubique valet: semper tibi pendeat hamus; quo minime credas gurgite, piscis erit. ~ Note: You can often see this saying cited in a shortened form: Quo minime credas gurgite, piscis erit.

Equo ne credite, Teucri.

Ne credas laudatoribus tuis.

Non satis est tutum mellitis credere verbis.

Non satis est tutum mellitis credere verbis. ~ Note: Non satis est tutum mellitis credere verbis, / ex hoc melle solet pestis amara sequi.

Infideli in minimis, ne credas maiora.

Ne totam substantiam uni credamus navi.

Omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum.

Valde frequens haustus non est, mihi credite, faustus. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 1425.

Caritas omnia suffert, omnia credit, omnia sperat, omnia sustinet.

Noli credere omnia quae audis quia qui credit omnia quae audit saepe credit quod non est.

Noli facere omnia quae potes quia qui facit omnia quae potest saepe incurrit quod non credit.

Si inscrutabilia scrutari venisti, et ininvestigabilia investigare venist; crede, iam peristi.

Tu disputa, ego credam; altitudinem video, ad profundum non pervenio.

Cui credere debeas quid, et quantum, vide.

Aquae non currenti et homini tacenti credere noli.

Aurea ne credas, quaecumque nitescere cernis.

Crede parum, tua serva, et quae periere, relinque.

Credite: qui terrena volunt, caelestia nolunt.

Non credas undam placidam non esse profundam.

Credidit et Caiphas, omne nefas sibi fas. ~ Note: This is also found as part of a couplet: Iacobus temere credit sibi cuncta licere, / Credidit et Caiphas omne nefas sibi fas.

Vir bene vestitus, pro vestibus esse peritus creditur a mille, quamvis idiota sit ille.

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