Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scala 17 (801-850)

<== Go back to Scala 16 (751-800)

801. Primus amor potior.

[primus: first, foremost, best] Here you see the masculine singular comparative form, potior, agreeing with the subject, amor.

802. Ardua prima via est.

Samuel Coleridge chose this saying as the title for a poem.

803. Primus sum egomet mihi.

You can find these words in Terence's Andria. The word "egomet" is an emphatic form of the pronoun "ego."

804. Nemo primo quoque die fit doctus.

Note that primo goes with die: "primo die," on the first day. The word "quoque" is being used here with the sense of the word "quidem" - On the first day indeed no one becomes educated.

805. Primo quoque die nemo magister erit.

See the note on the previous proverb; now instead of doctus, you have magister.

806. Non possunt primi esse omnes omni in tempore.

The words are from Macrobius's Saturnalia, 2. Notice the elegant way "omni...tempore" wraps around its preposition!

807. Vis loqui? Disce tacere primo.

Note the use of the ablative, primo, to mean "in the beginning, at first, in the first place."

808. Alium silere quod voles, primus sile.

This is from Seneca's tragedy, Phaedra. Note the way primus agrees with the implied: subject of the infinitive sile, tu: you, first of all, should keep silent.

809. Primum est suo esse contentum.

The word "primum" here has the sense of "the first thing," "the main thing," etc. The adjective contentum is in the accusative because it agrees with the implied subject of the infinitive, esse (the subject of an infinitive is in the accusative case).

810. Primum: non nocere.

[noceo: harm, hurt, injure] To learn more about this principle of medical ethics, see the Wikipedia article.

811. Nulli nocendum.

You can see here that the verb noceo takes a dative complement, nulli. The neuter gerundive has the force of an imperative here: "Harm no one."

812. Si nocueris, noceberis ab alio.

The form nocueris is active, while nocueberis is passive: If you do harm, you will be harmed by someone else. It's a karma proverb!

813. Volens nocere aliis, nocet sibi.

Here you see dative complements again with the verb nocere: nocere aliis and nocet sibi.

814. Nocuit et nocebit.

The idea here is that what has once done harm in the past (nocuit) will do so again in the future (nocebit).

815. Omne nimium nocet.

Here the adjective nimius is being used substantively to mean "something excessive" or "extravagance."

816. Omnia nimia nocent.

This is a plural version of the preceding proverb.

817. Quod nocet, docet.

As often, the antecedent for the relative pronoun is implied but not state: (Hoc), quod nocet, docet.

818. Quae nocent, docent.

This is a plural version of the preceding proverb: (Haec), quae nocent, docent.

819. Tentare non nocet.

[tento: try, prove, test, attempt] Compare the English saying, "There is no harm in trying."

820. Non tentabis Dominum Deum tuum.

Here the verb tentare has the sense of putting on trial, testing, etc.; see the Gospel of Matthew, 4.

821. Quod potes, tenta.

Again, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is implied but not stated: (Hoc), quod potes, tenta.

822. Alia tentanda est via.

The gerundive, tentanda, agrees with the subject: via, "Another way must be tried."

823. Fac aliis sicut tibi.

[sicut: as, just as, like] This is the famous "Golden Rule" which you can find stated and restated in many different forms. This is one of the most succinct: Do unto others, as to yourself.

824. Sicut fecisti, fiet tibi.

You can see here how the verb fieri serves as the passive form of the verb facere: As you have done, it will be done (fiet) to you.

825. Sicut vita, finis ita.

[ita: thus, so, in such a way] The charm of this saying depends on the nice rhyme: vita-ita.

826. Qualis vita, finis ita.

This is a variation on the preceding proverb; both "sicut" and "qualis" can be used to introduce comparisons.

827. Qualis vita, mors est ita.

This is a variation on the preceding proverb; now instead of the euphemistic "finis" there is "mors."

828. Ita vita.

Compare the English saying, "Such is life."

829. Amicis ita prodesto, ne noceas tibi.

The form prodesto is a future imperative from the verb prosum: "be useful to, be of benefit to." Notice how ita prepares for the negative outcome: Be useful to your friends in such a way (ita) that you do not do harm to yourself.

830. Sicut mater, ita et filia eius.

[filia: daughter] Notice the adverbial use of "et" here - instead of joining two things ("and"), the word "et" here means something like "also" or "even" - Just as the mother is, so is her daughter also.

831. Temporis filia veritas.

Truth is the daughter of time because in Latin veritas is a feminine noun; in English, I'm not sure what gender people might assign to the word "truth" personified!

832. Matris imago filia est.

[imago: image, picture] Compare the English saying "to be the spit and image" of someone - here you have the image, but not the spit: The daughter is the image of her mother.

833. Dies imago vitae, nox mortis est.

This proverb is built on a nice parallelism: dies/nox and vitae/mortis. The genitives are both complements of the word image.

834. Vultus imago animi.

[vultus: face, looks, appearance] You can find this sentiment expressed in Cicero's De Oratore, 3.

835. Vultus indicat mores.

[indico-are: show, indicate, reveal] You will find these words in Cicero's De Legibus, 1.

836. Habitus virum indicat.

[habitus: condition, garb, character] Compare the English saying, "Clothes make the man."

837. Habitus non facit monachum.

[monachus: monk] You can also find the saying in this form: Non habitus monachum reddit.

838. Habitus est altera natura.

[alter: another, the other] Here the word habitus has the sense of character or personality - compare the English word "habit."

839. Amicus alter ipse.

This is a saying collected by Erasmus in his Adages, 1.1.2. Notice how ipse is being used here to mean something like the English word "self" - "A friend is another self."

840. Alter ego est amicus.

For the various uses of the phrase "alter ego," see this Wikipedia article.

841. Quod tibi, hoc alteri.

This is another succinct statement of the Golden Rule, with the verb implied by not stated: That which you (do) to another, (should be what you would do) for yourself.

842. Quod tibi vis fieri, hoc fac alteri.

This is a fuller version of the previous saying, with the verbs stated explicitly. Notice how fieri serves as the passive of facere: That which you want done to you, do to another.

843. Quod tibi non vis, alteri ne facias.

This is the negative version of the Golden Rule: What you don't want for yourself, don't do to another! You can also see this with the perfect instead of the present subjunctive to express the negative command: Quod tibi non vis, alteri ne feceris.

844. Sibi parat malum, qui alteri parat.

Here you can see that alteri is the dative of alter; the unambiguous sibi gives you a clue to expect the dative: Sibi parat malum, qui alteri parat (malum).

845. Ab alio speres, alteri quod feceris.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is not stated: Ab alio speres (hoc), alteri quod feceris. In an ancient Latin inscription the text reads: Ab alio speres altero quod feceris. In classical Latin, the form alteri would become the standard dative form, with altero reserved for the ablative, but as the inscription shows, this grammatical standard was not universal!

846. Alterius ne sit, qui suus esse potest.

Note the genitive alterius - "ne sit alterius" means something like "do not become another's," i.e. do not become the slave of another, the servant of some other person.

847. Audi et alteram partem.

[pars: part, portion, side] Here you have "et" being used not as a conjunction but as an adverb, meaning "also," "even," "too," etc. - Listen to the other side too.

848. Audiatur et altera pars.

This expresses the same idea as the previous proverb, but with a passive verb that has pars as its subject.

849. Nihil est ab omni parte beatum.

[beo: make happy, bless, gladden] The indeclinable nihil is regarded as a neuter singular, hence the neuter form of the participle, beatum.

850. Non est beatus ipse qui se nesciat.

Note the subjunctive, nesciat - this generalizes the relative clause to mean "any person who," "the kind of person who," etc.

Scala 18 (851-900)

No comments: