Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Scala 19 (901-950)

<== Go back to Scala 18 (851-900)

901. Sic prodesto amico, ne tibi noceas.

Compare the saying you saw earlier: Amicis ita prodesto, ne noceas tibi. Both the words "sic" and "ita" can be used to introduce final clauses with ut and ne.

902. Sic transit gloria mundi.

[transeo: pass by, pass, cross over] You can read an article about this famous saying at Wikipedia.

903. Mundus transit.

You can find these words in the Biblical First Epistle of John, 1.

904. Omnia transibunt.

Note the future tense: transibunt.

905. Quam est felix vita, quae sine odiis transiit!

The "quam" here is exclamatory; note also the past tense, transiit - How happy is that life which has passed without hatred! (In Latin, odium can easily be put into the plural, but that is not the case in English.)

906. Quam felix vita transit sine negotiis!

This is a variation on the previous proverb, this time praising a life of leisure, sine negotiis.

907. Vetera transierunt.

[vetus: old, ancient, aged] Vetera is neuter plural, and notice the perfect past tense: transierunt.

908. Amicus, quo veterior, eo melior.

In English, we just use the word "the" to express this time of correlated comparison: The older (quo veterior) a friend is, the better (eo melior). The ablatives quo and eo are expressing the measurement of the comparison: (by so much) older, (by that much) better.

909. Credendum est veteribus.

The verb credere takes a dative complement, as here: veteribus. As you have now seen many times already, the neuter of the gerundive can be used to express necessity, a kind of impersonal command. In English we might say, "You should..." - "We must..." - "It is necessary to..."

910. Priscis et veteribus credendum est.

[priscus: ancient, early, former] This expands on the previous saying - not just veteribus, but priscibus also.

911. Priscis credendum.

This variation has just priscis. This form of the saying is collected by Erasmus in his Adagia, 4.10.51.

912. Male creditis hosti.

[hostis: enemy, stranger] You can find this observation of the danger of trusting one's enemies in Ovid's Fasti, 2: Quo ruitis, generosa domus? Male creditis hosti: / simplex nobilitas, perfida tela cave.

913. Hostes non dormiunt.

The message, of course, is that you must therefore be ever-vigilant!

914. Hostium munera non munera.

[munus: gift, tribute, duty] This is another one of those paradoxes of which proverbs are so fond: when is a gift not a gift? When it is the gift of an enemy!

915. Quae dantur munera lauda.

Notice that munera here is neuter plural, hence the relative pronoun quae. As often, the so-called antecedent of the relative pronoun actually comes after the pronoun itself!

916. Forma dei munus.

[forma: shape, form, beauty] You can find these words in Ovid's Art of Love, 3.

917. Forma numen habet.

[numen: divinity, divine power, god] These words also come from Ovid's Art of Love, 3.

918. Nil sine numine.

This is the motto of the state of Colorado.

919. Non sine numine.

You can find these words in Vergil's Aeneid, 2.

920. Laboranti numen adest.

[laboro: work, work hard, labor] The verb adsum takes a dative complement, as here, with the dative participle of the verb laboro: laboranti.

921. Ora et labora.

[oro: ask for, pray, plead] Notice the nice sound play of "ora" and "labora." This saying is especially associated with the monastic Rule of Saint Benedict.

922. Fugit hora: ora.

This introduces another bit of sound play: hora - ora.

923. Ora, ne te rapiat hora.

This proverb is built upon the same sound play as the previous proverb. Notice that the verb oro can take a purpose clause, introduced by ut or, as here, the negative ne.

924. Videte, vigilate et orate.

[vigilo: be awake, watch, be vigilant] You can find these words in the Gospel of Mark, 13.

925. Esto vigilans.

Remember that the form esto is a future imperative, a type of expression commonly found in proverbs.

926. Nescis qua hora: vigila.

The verb nescio can introduce indirect question, as here: nescis qua hora, "you do not know at what time..." it is going to happen; the verb is implied but not stated. For a fuller version, here is Saint Augustine, who has the verb veniat: Nescis qua hora veniat; semper vigila.

927. Sapiens qui vigilat.

[sapiens: wise] The word sapiens, "wise, wise person," is actually a present active participle from the verb sapere, "to taste, to have a sense of taste." So, someone who is sapiens has well-developed tastebuds of the brain, as it were!

928. Sapiens sua bona secum fert.

There is a great illustration of this saying in an Aesop's fable about one of the legendary wise men of ancient Greece, Simonides, and what happened when he was shipwrecked.

929. Contentus propriis sapiens vivit rebus, nec cupit alterius.

Notice the way the phrase "propriis...rebus" wraps nicely around the subject-verb, sapiens vivit.

930. Nemo nascitur sapiens, sed fit.

Compare the earlier saying: Nemo magister natus.

931. Audiens, sapiens sapientior erit.

The participle here expresses the way in which the wise man gets wiser; in English you might render it as "by listening" or "because he listens" - it often is a good idea to expand on Latin participles when translating them into English since we just don't use as many free-standing participles as Latin does.

932. Cum se ipse vincit sapiens, minime vincitur.

The adverb "minime" often has the force of "not at all" or "never." This is especially common in answering questions with an emphatic question.

933. Sapientior omnibus eris, si ab omnibus discere volueris.

The rhyme, eris-volueris, reveals the medieval provenance of this saying.

934. Omnia sapientibus facilia.

[facilis: easy, easy to do, doable; adv. facile] This is one of the sayings collected by Erasmus in his Adages, 2.9.56.

935. Facile volentem trahas.

The subjunctive trahas gives the sense of possibility: you could drag, you can drag. The adverb facile goes with trahas; volentem is the object of the verb.

936. Quod volumus, facile credimus.

Note that the antecedent of the relative pronoun is implied but not stated: (Hoc), quod volumus, facile credimus.

937. Quod quisque sperat, facile credit.

The previous proverb used the first person plural to convey a sense of universality; here the pronoun quisque accomplishes the same task.

938. Nihil est dictu facilius.

You can find these words in Terence's Phormio. Compare the English expression: "That's easy to say."

939. Facile invenies qui bene faciant, cum qui fecerunt coles.

This is another of the sayings of Publilius Syrus. The word order is a bit tricky - here it is with the words arranged somewhat differently and antecedents for the relative pronousn: Facile invenies (eos) qui bene faciant, cum coles (eos) qui (bene) fecerunt.

940. Noce nemini; nocere facilius est quam prodesse.

The infinitives - nocere and prodesse - are being used as nouns in a comparative statement; facilius is the neuter comparative form of facilis: it is easier to do harm...

941. Post rerum eventum omnes facile sapientes sunt.

Note that omnes here is the subject, while sapientes is the predicate.

942. Facilia sapientibus cuncta.

[cunctus: all, every] Cunta here is like omnia, neuter plural, meaning "all things" or "everything."

943. Mecum mea sunt cuncta.

These are the words spoken by Simonides in Phaedrus's version of the story about his shipwreck, 4.23.

944. Cuncta potest facere deus.

Or, if you prefer: Cuncta potest facere Deus. I am really torn about what to do for the capitalization of singular instances of deus in the proverbs when I do the book in August - if people have ideas or suggestions about that, let me know!

945. Non cunctis dat cuncta deus.

Here's an expanded version of this saying: Non cunctis dat cuncta Deus, formosus ut idem sit simul et sapiens et summa laude disertus. (I guess if I had my pick of the three qualities, I would pick sapiens as my allotment!)

946. Cuncti gens una sumus.

[gens: tribe, nation, people] Notice that the masculine plural cuncti agrees with the subject of the verb sumus: Cuncti (nos) gens una sumus.

947. Nobiliter vivens et agens, haec nobilis est gens.

Compare the earlier sayings you saw about true nobility: "Animus facit nobilem" and "Virtutem, si vis nobilis esse, cole."

948. Suus est mos cuique genti.

This is another of the many "cuique suum" type of sayings - or, in this case, not "cuique" but "cuique genti," each people, each culture.

949. Alia vita alios mores postulat.

[postulo: demand, require, claim] This is another one of those super-compact alia...alios sayings: Different lives demand different habits.

950. Alia aetas alios mores postulat.

Compare the previous saying - now instead of alia vita, you have alia aetas (age, time of life).

Scala 20 (951-1000)

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