Saturday, July 31, 2010


The notes here are taken from the actual Scala, so be warned that references to the "previous" proverb refer to its order in the Scala, not its order here. You can read more about the word OCULUS at the Verbosum blog.

Omnia videt oculus domini. ~ Note: This is one of those proverbs where you could justify the word dominus either way: dominus, or Dominus. It all depends on the context. The master of the household has a watchful eye, but so does the Lord, watching all from heaven. Of course, proverbs are mainly used orally, rather than in writing - and capitalization is not an issue when you are speaking, only when you are writing.

Oculus videns alia, seipsum non videt. ~ Note: You can also find the same idea expressed this way: Oculus oculum alium, non se ipsum videt.

Plus vident oculi quam oculus. ~ Note: You actually have two new words for this saying, which work closely together: the comparative form of multus, plus, which means "more," and the word quam which expresses the idea of comparison, "than" - plus... quam..., "more... than..."

Ubi amor, ibi oculus. ~ Note: See the previous proverb for comments about ubi... ibi... For this proverb, the meaning is definitely spatial: Where someone's love is, there the eye looks!"

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

Plus valent oculi quam oculus. ~ Note: Here the distinction is between the plural oculi and the singular oculus: the more eyewitnesses, the better!

Oculi sunt in amore duces. ~ Note: This saying can be found in Propertius, Elegies 2.15.

Anima pro anima, oculus pro oculo. ~ Note: This is from Polydorus's Adagia. The full expression in the Biblical book of Deuteronomy is "Non misereberis ejus, sed animam pro anima, oculum pro oculo, dentem pro dente, manum pro manu, pedem pro pede exiges."

Sol oculus mundi. ~ Note: 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."

Nemo videt oculum suum.

Amor ut lacrima oculo oritur, in pectus cadit.

Plura oculi quam oculus cernunt. ~ Note: The word plura here is neuter plural, the object of cernunt: plura oculi cernunt quam oculus (cernit).

Procul ab oculis, procul a corde. ~ Note: Compare the English saying, "Out of sight, out of mind."

Quod procul ab oculis, procul ab animo. ~ Note: This is a variation on the previous saying, this time with "animus" instead of "cor" - although both cor and animus can be rendered as "mind" in English if you want.

Procul ex oculis, procul a corde. ~ Note: You saw this saying earlier in the form: Procul ab oculis, procul a corde. You can also find this variation: Procul ex oculis, procul ex mente. The heart, cor, is both a metaphorical location for feeling (as in English), but also for thoughts and thinking, like the English word "mind."

Tam procul ex oculis, quam procul ex corde.

Oculos habentes non videtis et aures habentes non auditis. ~ Note: The words are from the Gospel of Mark, 8.

Oculis magis quam auribus credendum est. ~ Note: Now the distinction is between the credibility of eyes versus ears. Compare the English saying, "Seeing is believing."

Oculis credendum potius quam auribus. ~ Note: 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"

Oculis magis habenda fides quam auribus. ~ Note: The gerundive, habenda, expresses the idea of necessity or command, and agrees with fides, the subject of the sentence. Meanwhile, oculis and auribus are the dative complements of fides: You should put more faith in your eyes (i.e. what you see) than in your ears (i.e. what you hear).

Multae regum aures atque oculi.

Campus habet oculos, silva aures.

Quod non videt oculus, cor non dolet.

Auribus oculi fideliores sunt.

Fideliores sunt oculi auribus. ~ Note: Here you have the comparative form of fidelis, fidelior.

Claude os, aperi oculos. ~ Note: Notice the nice sound play in the two parallel commands: os-oculos.

Ne crede oculis; falli possunt. ~ Note: Note the passive infinitive, falli: they can be fooled.

Luna oculus noctis.

Sol oculus mundi, princeps oculus multitudinis

Aspiciunt oculi duo lumina clarius uno.

Oculus se non videns, aliena cernit. ~ Note: This proverb fits under the topic of self-knowledge... and how difficult it is to obtain! Compare the Aesop's fable about the two sacks.

Ubi thesaurus, ibi oculus. ~ Note: Compare the saying you saw earlier: Ubi amor, ibi oculus.

Dominus habet oculos centum.

Non peccent oculi, si oculis animus imperet. ~ Note: Note the subjunctives, peccent and imperet, which make this a speculative hypothetical situation: if (only) the mind could rule the eyes...

Iniuriam aures facilius quam oculi ferunt. ~ Note: The neuter comparative form, facilius, is being used adverbially here: facilius ferunt, endure more easily.

In oculis animus habitat. ~ Note: The words are from Pliny's Natural History, 11.

Oculi avidiores sunt quam venter.

Oculus domini facit equos pingues.

Ne erigas oculos tuos ad opes quas non potes habere. ~ Note: Ne erigas oculos tuos ad opes quas non potes habere, quia facient sibi pennas quasi aquilae et volabunt in caelum.

Oculi vasa luminis. ~ Note: Here is Comenius's definition of oculi in his Grammatica Ianualis: vasa luminis, viva rerum specula, animi fenestrae, corporis duces, cogitationum indices, amoris illices, tanquam speculatores altissimum obtinent locum.

Via stulti recta in oculis eius. ~ Note: The saying is from the Biblical book of Proverbs, 12.

Oculis magis quam opinioni credendum.

Plus oculis quam ventre devoras.

Oculi omnium cupiditatum auctores.

Oculus domini in agro fertilissimus est.

Oculi quasi fenestrae animi.

Invidus vicini oculus.

Animi imago vultus, indices oculi.

Oculus animi index.

Corvus corvo non eruit oculum.

Pupilla oculi nobis carius.

Oculus domini saginat boves.

Oculus domini saginat equum.

Oculus domini saginat gregem.

In occipitio quoque habet oculos.

Oculi hominum insatiabiles.

Frustra iacitur rete ante oculos pennatorum.

Dulce lumen, et delectabile est oculis videre solem.

Plus Federicus uno oculo vidit quam ceteri principes duobus. ~ Note: This was presumably a saying originally associated with "Frederick the One-Eyed," Duke of Swabia in the 12th century, and later included in Polydorus's Proverbiorum Liber, who comments: de hominibus prudentissimis dicitur.

Festucam in alterius oculo vides, in tuo trabem non vides.

Aliena vitia in oculis habemus, a tergo nostra sunt.

Est oculo gratum speculari semper amatum.

Non affectatur oculus quod non speculatur.

Oculum pro oculo, dentem pro dente.

Ut visus in oculis, ita mens in anima.

Aspiciunt oculis superi mortalia iustis.

Qui vult alterius oculorum tergere labem, de proprio citius eruat ipse trabem.

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