Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scala 8 (351-400)

<== Go back to Scala 7 (301-350)

351. Ubi veritas, Deus ibi est.

This is another "ubi...ibi..." saying where the notion seems more definitely spatial rather than temporal: Where there is truth...

352. Ibi patria, ubi bene.

[bene: well, rightly, right, good] Note the use of the adverb, bene, without a specified verb - the idea being that it implies all kinds of verbs: where you (live, eat, drink, fare) well, there is your homeland.

353. Patria est ubi bene est.

This proverb opts to use the verb "est" with bene, creating a nice parallelism (one of the favorite stylistic devices of proverbs): Patria EST ubi bene EST.

354. Patria est ubi bene sit cuique.

This takes the same idea and states it as a hypothetical with the subjunctive sit and the pronoun quisque: Where(ever) it might be good for any(one), that is their homeland.

355. Fac bene dum vivis, post mortem vivere si vis.

The rhyme, vivis - si vis, reveals the medieval provenance of this saying.

356. Natura optima bene vivendi dux.

[dux: leader, guide, commander] Notice here that the noun dux, normally masculine, takes a feminine adjective, optima, since Nature (feminine) is the leader in question. The word vivendi, meanwhile, is a nice example of the gerund in the genitive case: dux bene viviendi, "a leader of living well" or, more idiomatically in English, "a guide to living well." The saying is found in Cicero's treatise, De Amicitia.

357. Dux mihi veritas.

This is the Haggard family motto.

358. Oculi sunt in amore duces.

This saying can be found in Propertius, Elegies 2.15.

359. Dux vitae ratio.

[ratio: reasoning, reckoning, plan] This is the Bennett family motto.

360. Ratione vivendum est.

Here is another one of those impersonal constructions, using the neuter gerundive: vivendum est, literally, "it is to be lived." In English, we have other ways of making generalized statements of necessity, such as using the second person "you" - "You have to live by means of reason."

361. Nihil sine ratione faciendum est.

Here is another gerundive expressing necessity: Nothing is to be done without a plan.

362. Ratione, non ira.

[ira: anger, rage, wrath] Although ira is ambiguous, the word "ratione" is clearly in the ablative - which lets you know that ira is in the ablative also: irā.

363. Tempus frangit iram.

[frango: break, shatter, weaken] In other words, just wait - the anger (yours, or another's) will weaken. Or, to use English words derived from the Latin, your ire will become a fraction of what it was!

364. Frangit iram dulce verbum.

This proverb offers another solution to the problem of anger: instead of tempus, the solution here is dulce verbum.

365. Duris non frangor.

Note the use of the passive here: I am not broken by hard things - that is, metaphorically hard things, like grief, defeat, etc.

366. Patientia dura frango.

The word patientia is ambiguous on its own - it could be nominative singular, or ablative. So too with dura: is it a feminine adjective agreeing with patientia, or a neuter plural? In the context of this sentence, though, patientia simply cannot be the subject of the verb frango, so it has to be ablative: Patientiā dura frango - and dura provides the accusative object of the verb. Remember, unlike English, where "break" can be transitive or intransitive depending on context, Latin makes a clear distinction between the two: active frango (I break SOMETHING) and passive frangor (I break = I am broken).

367. Duris dura franguntur.

Something like the English saying about "fighting fire with fire," this proverb declares that hard things are broken by hard things.

368. Vas malum non frangitur.

[vas: vessel, dish, pot (also: vasum)] This little proverb is a great way to remember the gender of the third-declension noun vas: neuter.

369. Corpus vas animi.

[corpus: body] To help remember the meaning of the word "vas" you can think of it in terms of English "vase," a vessel or pot for flowers: the body is the flowerpot of the soul. :-)

370. habeas corpus

To find out more about this important legal maxim, check out the Wikipedia article.

371. Non sine umbra corpus.

[umbra: shadow, shade, ghost] The double negative of "non sine" yields a positive, "no body without a shadow" = "every body has a shadow."

372. Nulla sine sole umbra.

[sol: sun] Here is another way to look at the existence of shadows: you cannot have a shadow without the sun.

373. Sol omnibus lucet.

This is a saying reported in Petronius's Satyricon. The things of nature are common to all - not just the sun, but the moon, the stars, the rain, etc.

374. Sol oculus mundi.

[mundus-noun: world, universe] For the notion of the sun as the all-seeing eye of the world, see Ovid's Metamorphoses, 4. You can also find this same metaphor applied to human society: Sol oculus mundi, princeps oculus multitudinis, "The sun is the eye of the world, the prince is the eye of the crowd."

375. Amor mundum fecit.

For thoughts and reflections on this saying, see Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.

376. Non sibi, sed mundo.

This is the motto of the Belle Vue Boys' School in Bradford, England.

377. Vos estis lux mundi.

[vos: you (plural)] You can find this expression in the Gospel of Matthew, 5.

378. Date, et dabitur vobis.

For this expression, see the Gospel of Luke, 6.

379. Petite, et dabitur vobis.

For this expression, see the Gospel of Luke, 11.

380. Veritas liberabit vos.

[libero: set free, liberate] For more about this popular motto, see the Wikipedia article.

381. Libera nos a malo.

[nos: we, us] This forms part of the Lord's Prayer as given in the Gospel of Matthew, 6.

382. Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis.

This is the motto of the borough of Battersea in London, England.

383. Non nobis, sed omnibus.

This is the motto of Soham Village College in Soham (Cambridgeshire), England.

384. Non nobis nascimur.

[nascor: be born, come into being] This is the Lucy family motto.

385. Ex malis moribus bonae leges natae sunt.

This is a variation on a proverb you saw earlier: Ex malis moribus fiunt bonae leges.

386. Bona nasci ex malo non possunt.

Note here the infinitive form of the deponent verb: nasci, "to be born." Combine the infinitive with non possunt and you get "cannot be born, cannot be created."

387. Aliud ex alio malum nascitur.

Sometimes this proverb is simply shortened to "Aliud ex alio malum!" - something like the English saying "One bad thing after another!"

388. Alia ex aliis nascentur bella.

In other words, different wars have different causes. The saying can be found in Petrarch's epic poem, Africa, 2.

389. Nascentes morimur.

[morior: die] Latin manages to compact into just two little words here what you might express in English as "As we are being born, we are beginning to die." Notice that while deponent verbs do not have any finite active forms, they do have present participles that are formed exactly as present active participles are formed: nascentes.

390. Moritur omne quod nascitur.

The fact that Latin uses deponent verb for both birth and death creates a nice sound echo here in the verb endings: moritur...nascitur.

391. Nascimur omnes hac lege, ut moriamur.

This comes from a Renaissance Latin poem, Zodiacus, by Marcellus Palingenius. The full statement is "Nascimur omnes hac lege, ut moriamur ab ortu / exitus ipse fluit."

392. Tempus nascendi et tempus moriendi.

This is another one of the gerund pairs from the Bibilical Book of Ecclesiastes, 3.

393. Bene vixit is, qui potuit, cum voluit, mori.

Notice how the verbal phrase, potuit...mori, wraps around the cum clause. Very elegant!

394. Nemo nisi suo die moritur.

[nemo: nobody, no one] This is an expression you can find in Seneca's Epistulae Morales, 7.

395. Nemo magister natus.

The word "magister" is in the predicate here: No one is born a teacher. (Of course, teachers are born - just like everybody else; the point is that at the moment of being born, they are not teachers...yet.)

396. Dare nemo potest quod non habet.

Notice how the verb phrase "potest dare" is elegantly wrapped around the subject: nemo. As often, the antecedent for the relative pronoun is implied but not state: Dare nemo potest (hoc) quod non habet.

397. Nemo dat quod non habet, nec plus quam habet.

Sometimes it helps to replace "nec" with "et non" just to see how all the pieces fit together: Nemo dat quod non habet, et non (dat) plus quam habet.

398. Nemo sibi nascitur uni.

This proverb is a good way to remember that unus is one of those sneaky words which has irregular forms in the genitive, unius, and in the dative, uni, as you can see here. The unambiguous sibi gives you a nice clue that uni here is in the dative.

399. Bonus vir nemo est, nisi qui bonus est omnibus.

The "nisi qui" is another example of how the antecedent of the relative pronoun can just be implied in the Latin: nisi (is) qui bonus est omnibus, "unless he is good to all." This one of the sayings you can find collected by Publilius Syrus.

400. Amicus omnibus, amicus nemini.

This saying plays very nicely with the parallel structure so commonly found in proverbs, and which can be easily imitated in English, too: "A friend to all is a friend to none."

Scala 9 (401-450)

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