Sunday, June 26, 2011

Scala 13 (601-650)

<== Go back to Scala 12 (551-600)

601. Mors est res certa, nihil est incertius hora.

The word hora is in the ablative, as part of the comparison: incertius hora, "more uncertain than the hour (of death)."

602. Nihil morte certius sed nihil incertius hora mortis.

Note the parallelism with a nice criss-cross chiasmus: morte certius || incertius hora mortis.

603. Quae post vitam futura sunt, incerta.

Note the use of the future passive participle here to express the idea of what is about to be, what is going to be.

604. Omne futurum incertum.

[futurus: future, about to be] In this saying, you see the future passive participle being used as an adjective: "All that is to come is uncertain" or, translating the adjective adverbially: "The future is entirely uncertain." (Latin often uses an adjective to modify the subject of a sentence where we might use an adverb in English.)

605. Mihi cura futuri.

[cura: care, concern, worry, attention] The noun cura can take a genitive complement, as you can see here, where it means "care of, concern for" - My concern is for the future. This is the motto of Hunter College.

606. Cura curam trahit.

Here cura has the more negative sense of "anxiety" or "worry" - One worry drags another after it, one worry follows another, etc.

607. Cura omnia potest.

Here cura has the positive sense of concern, care, attention, etc. - By being careful, you can accomplish anything.

608. Curae cedit fatum.

This takes the idea of the previous saying and declares the careful attention can even overcome the power of fate: Fate yields to carefulness. This is the Thomson family motto.

609. Plus potest plurium cura.

Here you have a nice play on words with plus, neuter singular, and plurium, genitive plural: The care of more people can accomplish more.

610. Amat victoria curam.

[victoria: victory] This is another way of expressing the positive outcome of proceeding with care and paying attention: Victory loves it!

611. Cura dat victoriam.

This expresses the same idea as the previous proverb but with a different wording; now cura is the subject.

612. A deo victoria.

The verb is implied but not stated - in English, though, you have to supply some kind of verb: "From God (comes) victory," "By God victory (is granted)," etc. You can see this motto inscribed on a coin here: image.

613. Se ipsum vincere maxima et optima victoria est.

Compare the saying you saw earlier: Est difficillimum se ipsum vincere. Notice that this proverb also plays on the etymological connection between the verb vincere (participle, victus) and the noun victoria.

614. Certa pax melior est quam incerta victoria.

Note the parallel structure: certa-incerta and pax-victoria.

615. Melior est certa pax quam sperata victoria.

This is like the previous saying, but now the victoria is not incerta - it is sperata, and hope is something very incerta indeed.

616. Ubi concordia, ibi victoria.

[concordia: harmony, agreement] This is another one of those correlative ubi...ibi proverbs: Where (when) there is agreement, there is victory.

617. Ibi semper est victoria, ubi concordia est.

This expresses the idea more emphatically with "semper."

618. Concordia vincit.

This expresses a similar idea, this time using the verb vincere rather than the noun victoria.

619. Concordia res crescunt.

[cresco: grow, increase, flourish] Be careful here, res must be the plural subject of crescunt, so concordia must be ablative: concordiā.

620. Victoria concordia crescit.

Only the meaning can help you decide how to take this: does victory grow with concord, concordiā? or does concord grow with victory, victoriā? The first sense is the most likely, of course - but in a given context, the second sense is also possible. When the Arsenal football club chose this as their motto, they were no doubt thinking of the first meaning.

621. Virtus crescit in adversis.

Now it is virtus itself which is growing: Virtue flourishes in adversity. (The neuter plural adjective adversa is equivalent to an abstract noun in English; in Latin, it is very easy to use substantive adjectives, but it is much less common in English.)

622. Virtute cresco.

Here you see another ablative used with the verb crescere: By means of virtue, I flourish. This is the motto of the Leask family.

623. Industria crescimus.

[industria: activity, industry, diligence] Since industria cannot be the subject of the first person plural verb crescimus, it must be in the ablative: industriā.

624. Consilio et industria.

Consilio could be ablative or dative, while industria could be nomintive or ablative. The "et" lets you know you are connecting two like things, so they both need to be ablative: By means of planning and action. You can see this motto on a coin here: image.

625. Industriam adiuvat deus.

[adiuvo: help, come to the aid of] This is something like the English saying, "God helps them that help themselves."

626. Alius alium adiuvat.

This is another one of those great alius...alium proverbs: One person helps another.

627. Amicus amicum adiuvat.

This takes the idea of the previous saying and focuses on friends: One friend helps another.

628. Deus, adiuva me!

You can find this plea in Psalm 69: Ego vero egenus et pauper sum; Deus, adjuva me.

629. Deo adiuvante, non timendum.

The first part of this saying is an ablative absolute, and the second part is the gerundive used impersonally to express necessity: "it is not to be feared" - in other words, "don't be afraid!"

630. Dei facientes adiuvant.

Compare the proverb cited earlier, Industriam adiuvat deus.

631. Audendum est: fortes adiuvat ipse deus.

Here you have the gerundive being used impersonally to express a command: audendum est, "dare to do it!"

632. Spes audaces adiuvat.

Note the nice sound play with "audaces" and "adiuvat."

633. Audaces Fortuna adiuvat.

[fortuna: luck, chance, fortuna] As you can see there are all kinds of ways to imagine that supernatural source of help: Deus, Spes (who is personified as a goddess), Fortuna (who is personified as a goddess), and so on.

634. Animum Fortuna sequitur.

The noun animus here is being used to stand for the person who has that animus: Fortune follows (i.e. favors, supports, goes to) the person with courage, bravery, willpower, etc.

635. Sibi habeat suam Fortunam.

Note the subjunctive, habeat: Let each person have their own luck.

636. Fortunam sibi quisque facit.

This takes the idea of the previous saying even farther: not only does each person have their own luck, they MAKE their own luck, facit.

637. Fortunam suam quisque parat.

This restates the same idea using the verb parare, to prepare, supply, have ready, etc.

638. Fortunam suam sibi quisque ipse parat.

This is a more emphatic version of the previous saying: Fortunam suam SIBI quisque IPSE parat.

639. Non est tuum, Fortuna quod fecit tuum.

In other words: don't get too attached to those things which are yours merely by chance or luck ... and when you start asking yourself which things are yours by chance or luck, you might be surprised at what a long list of things it is! You can find this bit of wisdom in Seneca's Epistulae Morales, 1.

640. Vincenda est omnis fortuna ferendo.

This proverb is a great exercise in the difference between the gerundive (vincenda, agrees with fortune) and the gerund (verbal noun, in the ablative, "by bearing with it, by enduring).

641. Virtuti melius quam fortunae creditur.

For the impersonal construction melius creditur, it is better to use the active rather than the passive in English: "It is better to trust in ability than in luck."

642. Fortuna nulli plus quam consilium valet.

Note the dative of nullus here: nulli. So the idea is that "For no one (nulli) is luck more powerful than planning."

643. Numquam cede malis; fortunam vince ferendo.

Note the gerund in the ablative: ferendo, "by bearing, by suffering, by enduring."

644. Maximae cuique fortunae minime credendum est.

The Latin play on words with maximae-minime is very hard to catch in English, and very elegant! The words are from Livy's history, 30.

645. Deo duce, comite Fortuna.

[comes: comrade, partner, associate] This is the Palles family motto: "With God (as my) leader, and Fortune (as my) comrade."

646. Deo duce, comite Spe.

As you can see by looking at this motto and the previous motto, there is a kind of formula at work here where you can add in whatever you want to the second part. Some other mottoes built on this pattern include "Deo duce, comite ferro" and "Deo duce, comite industria," etc.

647. Virtute duce, comite Fortuna.

This turns the formula around in a different way: now virtue is the leader, with luck as a partner.

648. Dux bonus bonum reddit comitem.

Notice how the predicate is wrapped around the verb, bonum...comitem, which leads to the very nice conjunction of bonus and bonum.

649. Dolor voluptatis comes.

This proverb now leads us into the realm of paradox: although dolor and voluptas are opposites, they are yoked together in life, so that - sooner or later - pleasure is accompanied by some sadness.

650. Invidia comes fortunae.

[invidia: envy, jealousy, spite, ill will] Here invidia is a natural consequence of someone's good luck: if you have good fortune, you have to be prepared for the envy which goes along with it.

Scala 14 (651-700)

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