Saturday, June 25, 2011

Scala 11 (501-550)

<== Go back to Scala 10 (451-500)

501. Redde, quod debes.

[reddo: give back, repay, return] As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is not expressed: Redde (hoc), quod debes. You can find this principle discussed in Seneca's Epistulae Morales, 18.

502. Redde cuique quod suum est.

This is the motto of the Adventurers House at the King Edward VII and Queen Mary School in Lancashire, England.

503. Suum cuique reddere decet.

This takes the idea of the previous proverb and states it impersonally, using decet: "It is fitting to render to each person that which is his."

504. Reddite quae sunt Caesaris Caesari, et quae sunt Dei Deo.

This refers to the famous testing of Jesus in the Temple, which you can read about in the Wikipedia article entitled "Render unto Caesar."

505. Nulli malum pro malo reddete.

[pro: for, before, as, according to] This saying is not only good advice, but provides a nice way to remember the dative form of nullus: nulli.

506. Nulli malum pro malo.

See the previous proverb; with with the information provided by the cases (dative, accusative), it is possible to express this idea without a stated verb.

507. Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno.

This is the motto of Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers. You can read more about the history of this saying at Wikipedia.

508. Dulce pro patria mori.

This saying is adapted from one of the odes of Horace; read more at Wikipedia.

509. Dulce pro patria vivere.

Proverbs do not always agree with one another; in fact - they often disagree! Just compare this saying with the previous one.

510. pro tempore

This Latin phrase is often abbreviated: pro tem. For the use of this phrase in American political life, see this Wikipedia article.

511. Pro lege, rege, grege.

[grex: flock, herd] The charm of this saying is in the play on words in Latin, which is impossible capture in English.

512. Rex est lex.

[: ] The words are supposed to have been pronounced by King Charles I of England: Rex est lex viva, animata et loquens.

513. Non sum qualis eram.

[qualis: such, of such kind] The words are from one of the songs of Horace, 4.1: Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae.

514. Qualis grex, talis lex.

[talis: what kind, what sort] For this saying, you have two new words, which work together as a correlative pair: talis...qualis..., something that works much like the English "as... so..." For example, here is one way to render this saying into English: "As the flock, so the law" (although, of course, you lose the play on words which is so important to the Latin saying).

515. Qualis rex, talis grex.

This is another qualis...talis... saying: As the king, so is his flock.

516. Qualis mater, talis et filia.

Note that "et" is being used adverbially here. It does not connected two equal things, but instead means something like "even" or "also" in English: As the mother, so too the daughter. (Compare the English saying, "Like father, like son.")

517. Qualia dixeris, talia audies.

This is another qualis...talis saying, but this time with qualia...talia, neuter plural: Such things as you might speak, so will you hear. In other words, if you speak badly of others, you will hear bad things said of yourself - but if you speak well of others, others will speak well of you.

518. Quales sumus, tales esse videamur.

Note the use of the subjunctive here, videamur: Let us appear to be such as we are. In other words, let your true self be seen, and don't pretend to be something you are not.

519. Qualis vis videri, talis esto.

This offers a twist on the previous saying; now the idea is that you should be (esto) what you want to seem to be (vis videri). So, for example, if you want to seem wise, be wise! If you want to seem to be generous, then be generous!

520. Talis esto, qualis haberi cupis.

This offers the same advice as the previous saying, except that now the verb is not the passive videri but the passive haberi, which means "to be held, to considered."

521. Qualia verba viri, talis et ipse vir est.

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.

522. Talia dicentur tibi, qualia dixeris ipse.

The ipse agrees with the unexpressed subject of the verb: dixeris ipse (tu).

523. Non quantus, sed qualis.

[quantus: so much, how much] In English we would use abstract nouns where Latin is able to use adjectives: "Not quantity, but quality."

524. Quantum est quod nescimus!

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.).

525. Quantum sufficit.

[sufficio: be sufficient, suffice, be enough] 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!

526. Non sufficit orbis.

[orbis: circle, region, world] This is the motto of the fictitious Bond family, of whom James Bond 007 is of course the most famous member. For the Bond film "The World Is Not Enough," see the Wikipedia article. The motto suggests the figure of Alexander the Great, whose epitaph reads in Latin: Sufficit huic tumulus, cui non sufficerat orbis, "Sufficient for him is this tomb, for whom the world was not enough."

527. Volat hora per orbem.

[volo-volare: fly] Manilius in his astronomical / astrological poem comments: Quando aliis aliud medium est; volat hora per orbem.

528. Horae volant.

You can see this sentiment expressed by Saint Augustine; read more here.

529. Volat aetas.

[aetas: age, lifetime, period, time] You can find this sentiment in Cicero's Tusculan Disputations, 1.

530. Aliam aetatem alia decent.

This is another one of those aliam...alia sayings, so compact in Latin. In English we would have to say: Some things are appropriate to one age, but other things are appropriate to other ages.

531. Omnia fert aetas, animum quoque.

[quoque: also, as well] The word "fert" has the sense of "bearing away, carrying off," referring to the way that with old age, one's mind can "go" as we say in English ("his mind is gone").

532. Id quod volunt, credunt quoque.

The idea here is that when someone wants something, they are quick to believe it.

533. A minimis quoque timendum.

[minimus: smallest, tiniest, least] Here is the gerundive being used impersonally (neuter singular: timendum). In English, you can express that idea of necessity using the second person: "You should be frightened of the smallest things too." Here you can see the saying combined with an emblematic illustration: image, which refers to the famous Aesop's fable of the eagle and the beetle.

534. A minimis ad maxima.

[maximus: greatest, biggest, most] Compare the English saying, "Start small."

535. A magnis, maxima.

This expresses the idea that from big things come the biggest things, the greatest outcomes, the largest effects, etc.

536. Deo Optimo Maximo

This Latin phrase is often abbreviated: D.O.M. It was used both in pagan times in reference to Jupiter, and its usage continued in Christian times, with reference to the Christian God. Compare the phrases "Iovi Optimo Maximo" and "Iuppiter Optimus Maximus" which refer to Jupiter specifically.

537. Ex minimis initiis, maxima.

[initium: beginning] There is no verb expressed here, because the verb itself is not really important. In English, of course, you have to supply a verb: The greatest things (come, start, derive, etc.) from the smallest beginnings.

538. Ex minimis initiis magna.

This is a variation on the previous saying, but somewhat more modest this time: magna, instead of maxima.

539. Omne initium difficile.

[difficilis: hard, difficult, not easy] You can also find this saying with the verb included: Omne initium est difficile.

540. Sunt facta verbis difficiliora.

Notice the ablative case, verbis, used to express comparison: Deeds are more difficult than words.

541. Difficile omnibus placere.

The Latin infinitive, such as placere here, when used as a noun, is regarded as neuter singular: difficile.

542. Difficillimum vincere naturam.

Difficillimum is the superlative form of the adjective difficile.

543. Est difficillimum se ipsum vincere.

You can also find this with the words se and ipsum written as one word: Est difficillimum seipsum vincere.

544. Sibi imperare difficillimum omnium.

As you can see from the word "sibi," the verb imperare takes a dative complement: to give orders to somebody, to command.

545. Difficile est se noscere.

You can find these words in Ausonius's poem De Herediolo: Quamquam difficile est se noscere: gnothi seauton / quam propere legimus, tam cito neclegimus, "Yet it is difficult to know oneself: "gnothi seauton" - how quickly we read the words, how quickly we neglect them." ("Gnothi seauton" is Greek for "Nosce teipsum.")

546. Quam bonum esse difficile est!

Note that the exclamatory "quam" goes with the adjective difficile, not with bonum: "How difficult it is to be good!"

547. Nihil est difficile volenti.

Volenti is the present active participle, dative, of the verb volo: Nothing is difficult for the one who is willing.

548. Amanti nihil difficile.

Here you have the participle of the amo: Nothing is difficult for the one who loves.

549. Forti nihil difficile.

[fortis: strong, mighty, brave; adv. fortiter] This time you have the dative of the adjective fortis, meaning the person who is brave or strong.

550. Fortis qui se vincit.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is implied but not expressed: "Fortis (is) qui se vincit."

Scala 12 (551-600)

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