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: VERBUM.

Acta, non verba. ~ Note: As you have seen before, there is proverbial opposition between words and things (res), words and deeds (facta) and, as here, words and actions (acta).

Quid verba audiam, cum facta videam?

Rebus, non verbis. ~ Note: The superiority of things to words - mere words as it were - is a popular theme in Latin proverbs. The use of the ablative without an expressed verb can be understood in all kinds of ways, depending on the context, e.g. (opus est) rebus, non verbis - we need real things, not mere words.

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.

Factis, non verbis. ~ Note: This proverb expresses an opposition similar to that of the proverb "rebus, non verbis," which you saw earlier.

Non verbis, at factis opus est.

Quid opus est verbis? ~ Note: The phrase opus est takes an ablative complement: verbis. We would say in English, "What need is there of words?"

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 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!

Rem tene; verba sequentur! ~ Note: Note the future tense: sequuntur. (It's all a matter of vowels: sequuntur, present indicative; sequantur, present subjunctive; sequenter, future indicative.)

Plures sunt res quam verba. ~ Note: Note that in the previous proverb plus was being used as an adverb (plus vident), while here you have plus being used as an adjective: plures sunt res. The idea here is that language falls short of reality: we can make words and then more words, but there will always be more things than words.

Virtute, non verbis.

Res plus valent quam verba. ~ Note: The plural verb, valent, gives you a clue here that "res" is plural, as does the plural "verba."

Qualia verba viri, talis et ipse vir est. ~ Note: Note the adverbial use of "et" here - et ipse - meaning something like "also," "likewise," etc. It may look like "talis et ipse" is a phrase where two things are being joined, but that is not the case; "et" here is not a conjunction, but an adverb.

Verba das in ventos. ~ Note: This is a fool's errand, of course - the winds carry your words away to no avail. You can also find this idiom with the dative: verba dare ventis, to give words to the wind. Compare the saying included by Erasmus in his Adagia, 1.4.85: Vento loqueris.

Ostende rebus, non verbis.

Verbum laudatur, si factum tale sequatur. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 1432. Notice the subjunctive, making the "if" statement very hypothetical indeed: si ... sequatur.

Verba factis probentur.

Verba rebus proba. ~ Note: The opposition between words and things is a recurring theme in the world of proverbs; compare the saying cited earlier: Non verbis, sed rebus.

Frangit iram dulce verbum. ~ Note: This proverb offers another solution to the problem of anger: instead of tempus, the solution here is dulce verbum.

Cum re opus est, nihil prosunt verba. ~ Note: Note that here the word cum means "when," and the ablative re is a complement to the phrase opus est.

Cum recte vivas, ne cures verba malorum. ~ Note: Cum recte vivas, ne cures verba malorum; / arbitrii nostri non est, quid quisque loquatur.

Cum recte vivas, ne cures verba malorum. ~ Note: You can also find the saying in this form: Si tu recta facis, ne cures verba malorum.

Magis movent exempla quam verba. ~ Note: As you can see by comparing this proverb with the previous one, both "magis quam" and "plus quam" can be used to express comparison.

Verba docent, exempla trahunt. ~ Note: The idea is again one of comparison: words (merely) teach but examples actually drag you along!

Verba movent, exempla trahunt. ~ Note: The same comparison once again: words (merely) move you but examples drag you.

Verba ducunt, exempla trahunt. ~ Note: The same idea as the previous saying, but with a slightly different comparison: (merely) leading versus actually dragging you along.

Plus movent exempla quam verba. ~ Note: This takes the idea of comparison and expressed it in different terms: examples move us more (plus movent) than mere words do (quam verba).

Verba monent, exempla movent. ~ Note: Notice the nice play on words: monent-movent.

Quod dare non possis, verbis promittere noli.

Verba volant, littera scripta manet. ~ Note: Compare the earlier saying, "Vox audita perit, sed littera scripta manebit" - but this one has some nice alliteration: verba volant.

Malo tacere mihi quam mala verba loqui. ~ Note: This proverb plays with the verb malo and the adjective malus, which you can see here in the noun phrase "mala verba."

Et satis et superest verbum sapientibus unum.

Facta sunt potentiora verbis. ~ Note: This contrast between words and deeds is one you have seen in previous sayings, e.g. "Factis, non verbis."

Est verbum verum: frangit deus omne superbum.

Hoc retine verbum: frangit Deus omne superbum!.

Post vinum verba, post imbrem nascitur herba.

Post vinum verba, post imbrem nascitur herba. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 932.

Vive moribus praeteritis, loquere verbis praesentibus. ~ Note: This saying is included by Polydorus in his Adagia, A197.

Crede certis rebus, non verbis inanibus.

Plus in negotiis gerendis res, quam verba, prosunt.

Absit iniuria verbis. ~ Note: Note the subjunctive; this is a polite formula to say that you don't mean any harm in saying what you are about to say. This item is listed in Tosi, 70.

In ventum verba profertis. ~ Note: Here is another version of the "verba ventis" type of proverb. These words are also from the Biblical book of Job, 7.

In verbo suavis, in re gravis. ~ Note: Here is a similar idea, but now expressed with rhyme: suavis-gravis.

Dulcibus est verbis mollis alendus amor.

Verbis non iacta te, sed facias bona facta. ~ Note: Note that the subjunctive here, facias, has the force of a command: facias bona facta, "you should do good deeds."

Absit invidia verbo. ~ Note: Compare the formulaic saying you saw earlier: Sit venia dicto. This item is listed in Tosi, 70.

Si quemquam verbo laedis, laederis et ipse.

A verbis ad verbera.

Magis res quam verba intuenda sunt.

Cornu bos capitur, verbo ligatur homo.

Bestia cornibus tenetur, homo verbis suis.

Verba rebus, non personis aestimanda sunt.

Vinum verba ministrat.

Facta verbis difficiliora sunt.

Sunt facta verbis difficiliora. ~ Note: Notice the ablative case, verbis, used to express comparison: Deeds are more difficult than words.

Seni verba dare difficile est. ~ Note: The Latin idiom "verba dare" means to fool, to trick: It is a difficult things to trick an old man.

Verba sonant, exempla tonant.

Sensus magis attendendus quam verba.

Priusquam audias, ne respondas verbum.

Aurea verba, cor ferreum.

Factis non verbis sapientia se profitetur.

Verbum est optimum et pessimum.

Ex plumis avis, ex verbis noscitur homo.

Inter armorum strepitus verba iuris civilis exaudiri non possunt.

Ieiunus venter non audit verba libenter.

Orator verbis valeat, vir bellicus armis.

Verba sapientium sicut stimuli.

Verba ligant homines, taurorum cornua funes. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 1430.

Verbum sat est!

Verbum sat sapienti. ~ Note: You can find this Latin phrase abbreviated: verb. sap.

Gesta verbis praeveniunt.

Verbum proditor animi.

Et arma et verba vulnerant. ~ Note: Here you have the construction in Latin, which is equivalent ot the English "both...and..."

Et verborum ordo mysterium est.

Stultus verba multiplicat.

Verbum dulce quidem tibi multiplicabit amicos.

Quando voles verbis alios mordere protervis, foeda tui cordis respice, mutus eris.

Verba cutem non lacerant.

Et semel emissum volat irrevocabile verbum.

Verbum irrevocabile est.

Volat irrevocabile verbum.

Et semel emissum volat irrevocabile verbum. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 383.

Ne verba pro farina. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings Erasmus included in his Adagia, 2.6.16.

Mare verborum, gutta rerum.

Verbis opera concordare debent.

Ex verbis fatuos, ex aure tenemus asellos.

Ex verbis fatuos, ex aure tenemus asellum.

Ex verbis fatuos, ex aure tenemus asellos. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 406.

Ex verbis fatuum, ex sonitu cognoscimus ollas.

Omne proverbium est probatum verbum.

Proverbium probatum verbum.

Asino non opus est verbis, sed fustibus.

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.

Re opitulandum, non verbis.

Verba non implent marsupium.

Tua verba gerrae sunt.

Nec nimium taceas, nec verba superflua fundas. ~ Note: This is one of the sayings collected by Wegeler, 662: Nec nimium taceas, nec verba superflua fundas / sed medium teneas, quo bene semper eas.

Omnis scientia a significatione verborum incipit.

Ex verborum copia cognoscitur cerebri inopia.

Contra verbosos noli contendere verbis.

Est domino gratum verbum, verum breviatum.

Ex verbis fatuus, pulsu cognoscitur olla.

Habuisse et nihil habere miserum verbum est.

Inanis venter non audit verba libenter.

Minimis ex verbis lis saepe maxima crescit.

Nemo hunc amat qui verba nuntiat mala.

Nequam illud verbum est, Bene vult, nisi qui bene facit.

Stellis ac herbis vis est, sed maxima verbis.

Verbis non iacta te, sed facies bona facta.

Non verba mulcent dulcia, quem torquet fames.

Nequam per verba, per odorem cognoscitur herba.

Nequam per verba, per odorem noscitur herba.

Magnificus verbis quilibet esse potest. ~ Note: Bellaria / Alar: Aurea promittunt multi, vix aerea praestant; / magnificus verbis quilibet esse potest.

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