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: QUANTUS.

Tanti eris aliis, quanti tibi fueris. ~ Note: Here you see the correlative use of tanti...quanti in the genitive, which is used descriptively, to express how something is valued, how much it is worth: how much you will be worth to others is how much you are worth to yourself!

Non quantus, sed qualis. ~ Note: In English we would use abstract nouns where Latin is able to use adjectives: "Not quantity, but quality."

Quantum est quod nescimus! ~ Note: When used in exclamation, the adjective "quantum" means so something like "how much!" (Compare the use of "quam" in exclamations to mean "how" - quam bene! how nice! quam miser! how wretched! etc.).

Nemo scit quantum nescit. ~ Note: Note that this is not an indirect question (that would be quantum nesciat) - instead, this is an implied comparison: Nemo scit (tantum) quantum nescit. I would say that is definitely true: our ignorance always exceeds our knowledge!

Quantum potes, tantum aude. ~ Note: Here is another proverb built on the correlative use of quantum...tantum.

Tanti est exercitus, quanti imperator. ~ Note: Here you see the genitive that expresses a value or worth: An army is worth as much (tanti), as its commander is worth (quanti).

Tanto gratius quanto citius. ~ Note: Here you have the ablative of tanto...quanto being used with the comparative to express "how much" - The more quickly, the more pleasing. There is no verb expressed, but the idea is that the quicker you can do someone a favor, repay a loan, etc., the more pleasing that will be!

Tantum scimus, quantum memoria tenemus. ~ Note: This is clearly a proverb for the pre-Google age!

O Cupido, quantus es! ~ Note: The exclamation is from Plautus's Mercator. The quantus is also exclamatory: "how great you are!"

Quantum sufficit. ~ Note: This is a saying that suggests just the right amount - "quantum sufficit," as much as is needed - but no more than that amount. It is a phrase found in Latin medical prescriptions, although of course it applies very nicely to life in general!

Quanta est vis eloquentiae! ~ Note: Just like quam, the word quantus can also be used as an exclamation, as here: quanta est vis, how great is the power! The punctuation lets you know that this is an exclamation, but the words could also be a question: Quanta est vis eloquentiae?

Nulla valet tantum virtus, patientia quantum. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 776: The idea here is that nulla virtus, "no (other) virtue" is as powerful as the virtue of patience.

Quanti est sapere! ~ Note: Here the genitive quanti expresses the notion of value: Of what great (value) it is to be wise!

De tanta laetitia, quanta tristitia! ~ Note: The word quanta is being used as an exclamation here, as the word quam can also be used as an exclamation: Quam triste! How sad!

Quanto plus bibunt, tanto magis sitiunt. ~ Note: This was a paradoxical belief that the Romans associated with the Parthians, so you can also find the saying in this form: Parthi quo plus bibunt eo plus sitiunt. You can see the correlative use of quanto...tanto here (like qualis...talis or quot...tot); the ablatives express "how much" more.

Quanto plus biberint, tanto plus sitient Parthi. ~ Note: In addition to being a historical foe of Rome (Wikipedia), the Parthians were a "paradoxical" people in Roman culture, as you can see in this description from Pliny's Natural History, 14. They were also famous for their proverbial "parting shot," firing arrows when they were retreating. This saying is included by Polydorus in his Adagia, A172.

Crescit amor nummi quantum ipsa pecunia crevit. ~ Note: There is an implied "tantum" to coordinate this expression: Crescit amor nummi (tantum), quantum ipsa pecunia crevit.

Dives marcescit quanto plus copia crescit. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 262.

Quanto maior eris, maiora pericla cavenda. ~ Note: This is one of the moral sayings of Michael Verinus.

Crescit avara sitis, quanto tibi copia maior. ~ Note: This is one of the moral sayings of Michael Verinus.

Si puer hoc sciret, quantum doctrina valeret, raro dormiret, sed nocte dieque studeret. ~ Note: This is a verse couplet.

Cui credere debeas quid, et quantum, vide. ~ Note: This is a saying by Janus Anysius (Giovanni Aniso); his sayings were sometimes published together with the ancient sayings of Publilius Syrus.

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