Monday, June 27, 2011

Scala 16 (751-800)

<== Go back to Scala 15 (701-750)

751. A bonis bona disce.

This bit of advice is included by Erasmus in his Adages, 4.8.37.

752. Nihil agendo, homines male agere discunt.

Here you have the gerund used in the ablative, nihil agendo: by doing nothing, while doing nothing, etc.

753. Nihil discit qui sine ordine discit.

Well, I have to confess that I have been a bit disorderly in my own studies! :-)

754. Ex uno disce omnes.

You can also find the same claim made about things: ex uno disco omnia. The masculine plural omnes means "all (people)" while the neuter plural omnia means "all (things)."

755. Dicendo dicere discimus.

Here is another gerund in the ablative case: dicendo, "by means of speaking."

756. Qui bonus est, ab eo bona discito.

Note the contrast between "bonus," the good person, masculine singular, and "bona," the good things, neuter plural.

757. Quid faciendum sit, a faciente discendum est.

Note the very nice use of two different gerundives here, both of them expressing the idea of necessity. The subjunctive sit is because you have an indirect question here, introduced by quid.

758. Disce docendo.

[doceo: teach, educate] Another gerund in the ablative: docendo, "by means of teaching" (as you can see from this project and my other blogs, I am constantly learning and re-learning Latin by teaching it!).

759. Docendo, discimus.

This take the same idea as the preceding proverb, but changes the imperative to a general indicative, discimus: we learn.

760. Qui docet, discit.

The same idea yet again, this time expressed by a relative clause, with the antecedent implied: (is), qui docet, discit.

761. Doce, ut discas.

Yet another variation on the idea, but this time with the verb docere as the imperative: doce, ut discas, "teach so that you might learn." (Which is really true: I'm not sure you can learn something until you try to teach it to someone else.)

762. Doceat, qui didicit.

Note the subjunctive: doceat, "let him (or her) teach."

763. Docendo discitur.

This time, it's the gerund in the ablative (docendo) combined with an impersonal passive expression. Literally, "By means of teaching, (it) is learned." Put into more idiomatic English: Learning happens by means of teaching.

764. Nemo doctus natus.

Compare the saying you saw earlier: Nemo magister natus.

765. Disce, sed a doctis.

Compare the saying found above: A bonis bona disce.

766. Dies diem docet.

We might say in English, "One day teaches another."

767. Exempla docent.

[exemplum: example, sample, model] Note that we even use the Latin word exemplum in English.

768. Exemplo plus quam ratione vivimus.

It is exactly because of the power of concrete example over abstract reasoning that Aesop's fables and similar wisdom tales are found in cultures all over the world!

769. Nihil recte sine exemplo docetur aut discitur.

The advice is from Columella, De Re Rustica 12.

770. Verba docent, exempla trahunt.

The idea is again one of comparison: words (merely) teach but examples actually drag you along!

771. Verba ducunt, exempla trahunt.

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

772. Verba movent, exempla trahunt.

[moveo: move, motivate, affect] The same comparison once again: words (merely) move you but examples drag you.

773. Plus movent exempla quam verba.

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

774. Magis movent exempla quam verba.

[magis: more] As you can see by comparing this proverb with the previous one, both "magis quam" and "plus quam" can be used to express comparison.

775. Magis vident oculi quam oculus.

Here the comparison is between many eyes (oculi) and just one eye (oculus) or, we might say in English, "eye-witnesses."

776. Oculis magis quam auribus credendum est.

Now the distinction is between the credibility of eyes versus ears. Compare the English saying, "Seeing is believing."

777. Gloria fugientes magis sequitur.

The combination of following (sequitur) and fleeing (fugere) is a typical proverbial paradox. The message seems to be that if you want glory, then you should certainly not chase after it: instead, avoid it, and glory will chase you down! For a discussion, see Seneca's treatise De Beneficiis, 5.

778. Magis esse quam videri oportet.

[oportet: it is proper, right, necessary] The impersonal verb oportet takes an infinitive complement, so the comparison here is between two infinitives: It is more fitting to be (esse) than merely to seem (videri).

779. Oportet adiuvare amicos.

Here again you see oportet with a complementary infinitive: adiuvare. You can also consider the infinitive to be something like the subject of the verb: "To help one's friends is the right thing to do."

780. Inter simias oportet esse simiam.

[simia: monkey, ape] Note that simiam is in the accusative here, because it is a predicate noun agreeing with the implied accusative subject of the infinitive: when someone finds himself among monkeys, it behooves (him) to be a monkey.

781. Ars est simia naturae.

[ars: skill, craft, science, art] This proverb plays on the idea that the monkey is an imitator, compare the English verb "to ape." You can also find the fuller form: Ars est simia et imitatrix naturae, "Art is the monkey and imitor of nature" (note the feminine imitatrix, "imitatress" as it were, as the noun ars is feminine).

782. Ars vincit naturam.

Contrary to the previous proverb, this one asserts the primacy of art (technology, craft, human ingenuity) over nature.

783. Artes virtutis sunt magistrae.

Note here the feminine plural, magistrae (teachers, fem.), since the artes, plural, are also feminine.

784. Artes aliis aliae.

This is another of those aliis...aliae proverbs; in English we might say "Some arts are good for some people, while others are good for other people."

785. Magister Artium

This Latin phrase is often abbreviated: M.A. For a survey of the counties whose universities grant this degree, see this Wikipedia article.

786. Ars gratia artis.

[gratia: favor, goodwill, thanks: gratiā: for the sake of] This features the Latin idiom of gratiā, ablative, "for the sake of" - "art for art's sake." Oddly enough, this is the motto Metro-Golwyn-Mayer, which seems a bit odd: ars gratia pecuniae might be a more fitting motto for movie moguls!

787. Dei Gratia

This Latin phrase is often abbreviated: D.G. Note that gratia is in the ablative, so the phrase means something like "by the grace of God." For the use of this phrase in the history of the European monarchies, see this Wikipedia article.

788. Dei gratia sumus quod sumus.

The English equivalent for the Latin phrase Dei gratiā would be "Thank God..." or "By the grace of God..." This is the motto of the Barking Borough of London; you can see their coat of arms here: image.

789. exempli gratia

This Latin phrase is often abbreviated: e.g. (note also that gratia here is in the ablative case, with a genitive complement, meaning "for the sake of").

790. Gratia gratiam parit.

[pario: give birth to, bear, produce] This is the motto of St Cuthbert's Society of the University of Durham, England.

791. Virtus gloriam parit.

This is one of the sayings included by Erasmus in his Adages, 4.8.72.

792. Paritur pax bello.

Just as there are many proverbs that play on the paradox of life and death, so too there are many proverbs, like this one, which play on the paradoxical relationship between peace and war.

793. Divitiae pariunt curas.

[divitiae: riches, wealth] The word cura here has the negative sense of anxiety, worry, etc.

794. Ubi sunt divitiae, ibi est invidia.

This is another one of those ubi...ib... proverbs: Where (when) there is wealth, there is envy.

795. Homo doctus in se divitias semper habet.

Compare the saying you saw earlier: Sapiens sua bona secum fert.

796. Ars divitiis potior.

[potis: able; potior: more able, better] Here you have the comparative form of potis, potior, which means "more able" or "better" - with the ablative providing the comparison: Craftsmanship is more capable than riches. You can find this saying used as the title of an elegant little Latin epigram by Petrus Lindebergius: Praestat post mortem aeterna iuvenescere fama, / Quam mundi variis eminuisse bonis.

797. Pax potior bello.

This is a motto of the Worchester family.

798. Esse potius quam haberi.

Compare the proverb you saw earlier: Magis esse quam videri oportet. Remember that the passive of haberi means "to be held, to be considered" - much like the passive meaning of "videri," "to seem." Because infinitives are considered to be neuter nouns you have the neuter comparative form of potis: potius.

799. Potius sero quam numquam.

Compare the English proverb, "Better late than never." The use of the neuter comparative, potius, is because these adverbs imply infinitives: "Better (to do something) late than never," "Better (to arrive) late than never," etc. In this case, the English saying is able to imitate the Latin, with the infinitive implied (i.e. supplied by context), but not stated.

800. Oculis credendum potius quam auribus.

Here you have the neuter gerundive used to express necessity, with oculis in the dative (the verb credere takes a dative complement): oculis credendum = debemus oculis credere, "we should trust our eyes"

Scala 17 (801-850)

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