Saturday, June 25, 2011

Scala 12 (551-600)

<== Go back to Scala 11 (501-550)

551. Nihil non potest fortis animus.

Note that here the double negative does make a positive: There is nothing a brave heart cannot do = a brave heart can do anything.

552. Forti animo esto.

The phrase "forti animo" is in the ablative and is being used descriptively in the predicative with the future imperative esto; we might say in English "Be brave in spirit!" or "Have a brave heart!"

553. Tene fortiter.

Fortiter is the adverbial form of the adjective fortis.

554. Ferte fortiter!

With this one, it is possible to capture a bit of the Latin word play in English, too: "Bear up bravely!" (Ferte is the second-person imperative: fer, singular; ferte, plural.)

555. Fortiter et recte.

As you can see, different adjectives form their adverbs differently: fortiter is the adverbial form of fortis, and recte is the adverbial form of rectus.

556. Fortiter et feliciter.

You can see this motto in Whitney's English verse emblems here.

557. Di fortioribus adsunt.

[adsum: be present, appear to, aid] The word "di" is a contracted form of "dii," which is a variant of "dei," the plural of deus: The gods appear to those who are strong (i.e. the gods help them, come to their aid, etc.).

558. Alta pete, ut media adsint.

[medius: middle, medium] Note the subjunctive, adsint, introduced by ut; it is a purpose clause.

559. in medias res

This Latin phrase refers to a literary technique of plunging the audience into the middle of the action - note the accusative with "in" here, meaning "into." You can read more about this literary technique at Wikipedia.

560. Medium certum.

[certus: certain, sure, reliable, definite] The idea is that while the thing in the middle is certain, anything at the extremes is uncertain, unreliable, dangerous, etc.

561. Nihil morte certius.

Note that the indeclinable nihil is regarded as a neuter noun, hence the form certius, the neuter singular comparative form of certus: Nothing is more certain than death.

562. Nihil nisi mors certum est.

This is a variation on the previous saying - now make the even more bold assertion that nothing is sure but death. Compare the famous English saying, "Nothing is sure but death and taxes," which goes back to the English author Daniel Defoe, but which was made famous by Benjamin Franklin.

563. Hoc unum certum est: nihil esse certi.

The word "certi" here is in the genitive singular, an example of the so-called partitive genitive which you can find used with the word "nihil" - in English we say "nothing certain" but in Latin you say "nihil certi," "nothing (of) certain." (Compare the English "I'll have none of that!")

564. Certum pete finem.

[finis: end, finish, goal, limit] The word "finis" here has the sense of goal - you should pursue a goal that is certain, not something that is vague or undefined.

565. Utilem pete finem.

This a motto of the Marshall family.

566. Omnium finis mors est.

You can find a meditation on this saying in Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi, 1.

567. Amori finem tempus, non animus facit.

You put an end to something in the dative: amori finem facit. This is one of the sayings of Publilius Syrus. Note that animus here needs to mean something like mind or willpower - you cannot just decide to stop loving.

568. in fine

Although the Latin phrase means "at the end," the English use of this Latin phrase has come to mean "in short" - the idea being that someone is skipping to the end, and thus keeping things short. Note also the Latin phrase "ad finem," abbreviated ad fin., which can be found in bibliographical citations, indicating that you must "go to the end" of the item to find what you are looking for.

569. Veri amoris nullus est finis.

[verus: true, real, actual; adv. vere] This is the title John Owen gave to one of his epigrams, which reads: Numquam vera fuit caritas, quae desiit esse; / Nam nullus veri finish amoris erit (12.3).

570. Noscitur adverso tempore verus amor.

In other words, only in adversity do you discover whether a love is true, or not.

571. Tempore in adverso veri noscuntur amici.

This expresses the same idea but now in terms of true friends, veri amici, rather than true love, verus amor.

572. Utile est amicos veros habere.

The complete saying from the Ad Herennium (sometimes attributed to Cicero): Utile est amicos veros habere, habeas enim quibuscum iocari.

573. Quod verum est, meum est.

This is a sentiment expressed by Seneca in his Epistulae Morales, 1.

574. Non vivere, sed valere vera vita est.

This is a variation of a saying you saw earlier - Non vivere, sed valere, vita est - but with even more alliteration: vera vita est.

575. Quis sibi verum dicere ausus est?

The verb audeo is called a "semideponent" because it takes active endings in the present system, but in the perfect system there are not active forms. The meaning, however, is still the same. This is a question posed by Seneca in his treatise De Tranquillitate Animi, 1.

576. Non omnia quae vera sunt utile dicuntur.

The neuter form of the adjective, utile, is being used here adverbially, as so often with the neuter: utile dicunter, "are usefully said, are useful to say."

577. Nil melius vere quam cum ratione tacere.

Note the use here of the adverbial form, vere, "truly." It has been inserted into the proverb to create an internal rhyme: Nil melius VERE quam cum ratione TACERE. (Internal rhymes are often found in medieval proverbs.)

578. Verum non dicimus, ne audiamus.

This is one of the sayings collected by Publilius Syrus.

579. In vino verum.

[vinum: wine] This is a variation on the famous saying "In vino veritas." Here the neuter singular, verum, is being used substantively to mean "truth." You can also find the saying in this form: Latet in vino verum, "The truth lurks in the wine."

580. Vina parant animos.

You can also find this variant saying: Dant animos vina.

581. Vino tempera.

[tempero: blend, arrange, govern, moderate] When the verb temperare means "to moderate, be temperate," it can take a dative complement, as here: Vino tempera, "Be moderate in your use of wine."

582. Tempera te tempori.

Here the verb temperare is taking a direct object as well as a dative: Adapt yourself to the time - or, to get something of the word play, compare the English saying "Go with the flow."

583. Spe metum tempera.

[metus: fear] Here the verb temperare conveys the idea of mixing, blending, etc. - Temper your fear with hope.

584. Spem metus sequitur.

The idea here is that hope and fear go hand in hand: if you hope for something, fear follows, because you are afraid that your hopes will not come true. This is a sentiment expressed in Seneca's Epistulae Morales, 1.

585. Nec spe nec metu.

This proverb urges you to avoid either hypothetical extreme, living without hope but also without fear. Caravaggio supposedly had this motto carved on the blade of his knife. Jarman's film Caravaggio was originally supposed to have the title "No Hope, No Fear."

586. Ubi omnis vita metus est, mors est optima.

This is another one of the sayings collected by Publilius Syrus.

587. Inter spem et metum.

[inter: between, among] Here is another way to imagine the relationship between fear and hope - rejecting both, you find yourself in the middle of the two. In Suetonius's Life of Claudius, he cites a letter of Augustus which invokes this saying.

588. inter alia

Note the neuter plural form here: "among other (things)."

589. Leges silent inter arma.

[sileo: be silent, don't speak] For a history of the use of this saying, see the Wikipedia article.

590. Melius mala ferre silendo.

This is a sentiment expressing Ovid's Tristia, 5. Note the use of the gerund (verbal noun), in the ablative: silendo, "by remaining silent."

591. Audi, vide, sile.

This is a motto of the Tillard family.

592. Praestat silere quam male loqui.

[praesto-verb: excel, exhibit; be outstanding, be better] The verb praestare literally means to "stand out in front," and as such it naturally invites the idea of comparison (compare the English word "outstanding). So, as you can see here praestat...quam... means (something) is better than (something).

593. Praestat amari quam timeri.

Here the two things being compared are passive infinitives: It is better to be loved than to be feared.

594. Alius in aliis rebus praestantior.

The word "praestantior" is the comparative form ("more outstanding") of the participle, praestans.

595. Certa praestant incertis.

[incertus: uncertain, unsure, unreliable] Here you have the comparison expressed not with quam but with the ablative case: Sure things are better than things which are not sure.

596. Rebus incertis amor est probandus.

Compare the saying you saw earlier about love being tested in a difficult time: Noscitur adverso tempore verus amor.

597. Vita incerta, mors certissima.

The independent use of the superlative here can mean "absolutely certain," "totally certain," etc.

598. Mors certa, hora incerta.

The hora referred to here is the hora mortis.

599. Mors certa, tempus incertum.

Compare the earlier proverb; the tempus referred to here is the tempus mortis.

600. Mortis dies omnibus incertus.

Here the adjective omnibus is being used substantively to mean everyone, everybody, all people: The day of death is something unknown to all.

Scala 13 (601-650)

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