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: SED.

Non sibi, sed omnibus. ~ Note: This is the motto of the Ackworth School in West Yorkshire, England.

Non sibi, sed suis. ~ Note: This is the motto of Tulane University.

Non sibi, sed aliis. ~ Note: This motto is found on the seal of the Georgia Historical Society.

Non multa sed multum. ~ Note: You can also find this saying in the form: Multum, non multa. The contrast is between "many things" and "much" (i.e. deeply, fully, etc.). Instead of trying to accomplish many tasks, you should do fewer tasks but with much care and attention.

Non sibi sed toti. ~ Note: This saying is a great way to remember that totus is one of those adjectives (like solus, unus, ullus, etc.) with a genitive in -ius and a dative in -i.

Sunt quidam non re, sed nomine homines. ~ Note: This is included by André Rouillé in his anthology of Cicero's notable sententiae.

Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis. ~ Note: This is the motto of the borough of Battersea in London, England.

Non nobis, sed omnibus. ~ Note: This is the motto of Soham Village College in Soham (Cambridgeshire), England.

Non verbis, sed rebus. ~ Note: This is an even more emphatic version of the previous proverb, beginning with the negative, and then affirming the positive: we don't need words - what we need are the things themselves.

Vivimus, non ut volumus, sed ut possumus. ~ Note: Note that this is the use of "ut" to mean simply "as" - ut possumus, "as we are able."

Non nova, sed nove. ~ Note: Notice the constrast between the neuter plural, nova, and the adverb, nove: Not new things, but in a new way. You can also find the saying in this form: Nove, sed non nova.

Non vi, sed virtute. ~ Note: This is a third contrast: not vis as opposed to verum, not vis as opposed to ratio, but vis as opposed to virtus.

Sol stat, sed terra movetur. ~ Note: Be careful with the movetur: in Latin, the passive form is used to express what would be in English an intransitive verb, "the earth moves."

Non vivere, sed valere, vita est. ~ Note: The infinitives here are used like nouns: "Life means not just to live, but to be well." (Of course, the English loses out on all the great alliteration in the Latin!)

Non sibi, sed bono publico. ~ Note: The unambiguously dative sibi lets you know that bono publico must also be dative.

Unus Deus, sed plures amici parandi. ~ Note: This proverb is easier to grasp if you imagine the verbs that Latin has omitted: Unus (est) Deus, sed plures amici parandi (sunt). The gerundive parandi, expressing necessity ("should be obtained") agrees in gender, number and case with the subject: amici.

Non sibi, sed mundo. ~ Note: This is the motto of the Belle Vue Boys' School in Bradford, England.

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

Dura lex, sed lex. ~ Note: While the previous proverb was about bad laws, this is something different: a law can be harsh or difficult without necessarily being consider a bad law. However harsh, it is still the law.

Durum est, sed ita lex scripta est. ~ Note: Compare the saying you saw earlier: Dura lex, sed lex.

Nemo sibi soli, sed aliis nascitur. ~ Note: Here instead of patriae (as in the previous saying), the statement is generalized: aliis, for others. Compare the saying in the Adagia of Erasmus, 4.6.81: Nemo sibi nascitur.

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.

Felix est non aliis qui videtur, sed sibi. ~ Note: Note the parallel structure: Felix est non aliis qui videtur, sed sibi (felix videtur).

Multi scire volunt, sed vere discere nolunt. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 645. You can also find the saying in this form: Omnia scire volunt omnes, sed discere nolunt.

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.

Non vi, sed iure. ~ Note: Yet another opposition: vis as opposed to ius. Compare also the earlier saying: Vis legibus est inimica.

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito. ~ Note: The words are from Vergil's Aeneid, 6. It is also the motto of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Non refert quam multos, sed quam bonos libros habeas ac legas. ~ Note: The subjunctives habeas and legas are because of the indirect questions introduced by quam. Note also that refert is a contraction of re and fert ("it has to do with, it is a matter of"); it is not from the compound verb re-fero, "bring back."

Pauca, sed bona. ~ Note: The adjectives pauca and bona are being used substantively: "few (things)" and "good (things)."

Pauci, sed boni. ~ Note: Here you have the adjectives being used substantively to refer to people: pauci, "few men," and boni, "good men."

Magna ne iactes, sed praestes. ~ Note: As in the previous saying, the subjunctive praestes here has the force of a command: (magna) praestes, "you should perform great deeds."

Brevis ipsa vita est, sed malis fit longior. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Publilius Syrus.

Omnia tibi fortuna abstulit, sed spem reliquit. ~ Note: You can find these words in one of the Controversiae of the Elder Seneca, 5.

Vox audita perit, sed littera scripta manebit. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 1472. Unlike the written word, the spoken word did not last. It is heard (audita) and then it perishes (that is, until we developed the technology to record audio!). You can also see the same idea expressed in this parallel proverb: Vox audita perit, littera scripta manet.

No comments: