Friday, July 01, 2011

Scala 23 (1101-1150)

<== Go back to Scala 22 (1051-1100)

1101. Alia ex aliis mala oriuntur.

This is a more pessimistic variation on the previous saying, "One bad thing arises from another" - although the Latin has the plural, mala, which is harder to render in English with our idiom of "one...another."

1102. Orta omnia intereunt.

[intereo: perish, die, cease to exist] Compare the earlier saying: Orta omnia cadunt.

1103. Nihil interit; omnia mutantur.

[muto: change, move, shift] Notice that in English, we use the verb "change" both transitively ("I need to change my address") and intransitively ("I think his address changed") - in Latin, this intransitive sense of change is expressed with the passive: omnia mutantur, all things change.

1104. mutatis mutandis

This is a very elegant little Latin phrase - it's an ablative absolute, and it combines a perfect participle with a gerundive: "the things which needed to be changed (mutandis) having been changed (mutatis)." For examples of the phrase used in English, see this < ahref="">Wikipedia article.

1105. Sapientis est mutare consilium.

This is another example of the genitive, sapientis, with an infinitive: A wise person is able to change his plan (or, we might say in English, to change his mind).

1106. Malum est consilium, quod mutari non potest.

This is one of the sayings collected by Publilius Syrus.

1107. Nullum consilium est quod mutari non potest.

This is a variation on the preceding saying, which asserts that any plan can be changed!

1108. Tempus invenit, discit, docet, mutat omnia.

This is a saying you can find inscribed, appropriately enough, on Latin sundials.

1109. Cum tempore mutamur.

This motto is used as the title of one of Whitney's English emblems: image.

1110. Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.

This proverb is in the form of a dactylic hexameter. For more about this saying, see the Wikipedia article.

1111. Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.

This is a variation on the previous, this time with "omnia" instead of "tempora."

1112. Tempore mutato, mores mutantur.

Note the ablative absolute: tempore mutato, "when the time has changed." You can also find this saying expressed with a parallelism instead of the ablative absolute: Tempora mutantur, mores mutantur.

1113. Divitiae mutant mores, raro in meliores.

The rhyme, mores-meliores, reveals the medieval origin of this saying.

1114. Mutare quod non possis, ut natum est, feras.

The subjunctive possis sets up a hypothetical quality, something which you cannot change, no matter what. Meanwhile the subjunctive feras conveys the idea of a command or obligation: feras, "you should bear, you should endure," etc.

1115. Honores mutant mores.

[honos: honor, esteem, public office] This proverb also features rhyme: honores-mores.

1116. Honos habet onus.

This proverb features a Latin play on words, honos-onus, which is impossible to convey in English (remember also that many Latin speakers dropped their "h" which makes these words even closer in sound: onos-onus).

1117. Honori comes invidia est.

The dative here expresses the idea of possession: Honor has envy as its partner.

1118. Hostis honori invidia.

This saying expresses the relationship in just the opposite way: envy is an enemy to honor. So, if envy is a companion to honor (see the previous saying), then it is not a welcome one! This is the Sherrard family motto.

1119. Honor fugientem sequitur, sequentem fugit.

Compare the saying about glory which you saw earlier: Fugit gloria sequentem et sequitur fugientem.

1120. Invitum sequitur honor.

[invitus: unwilling, reluctant] This is the motto of the Donegall family.

1121. Nil invita Minerva.

[Minerva: Minerva, goddess of wisdom] The phrase "invita Minerva" is an ablative absolute; the main verb is only implied, but not stated. The idea is that you can do nothing (nil) if Minerva (the goddess of wisdom) is unwilling.

1122. Nihil, invita Minerva, facies.

This is a fuller form of the previous saying, this time with a verb expressed: facies.

1123. Cum Minerva manus etiam move.

This saying alludes to the Aesop's fable about the Athenian man who was shipwrecked: instead of swimming to save his life, he prayed to Athena to save him - and then another man swam up and told the Athenian that he needed to move his own arms, in addition to whatever help the goddess might offer.

1124. Naturam Minerva perficit.

[perficio: finish, complete, accomplish] Minerva here stands for the goddess of crafts and technology, "Ars" in its divine form.

1125. Ars perficit naturam.

In this version of the saying, you have "ars" rather than "Minerva."

1126. Aut non rem tentes, aut perfice.

You can find this "all or nothing" advice in Ovid's Art of Love, 1.

1127. Ne tentes, aut perfice.

This is a more succinct version of the previous saying.

1128. Nihil est simul et inventum et perfectum.

Notice the construction, equivalent to English "both...and..."

1129. Sub sole nihil perfectum.

[sub: under] Compare the English saying, "Nobody's perfect."

1130. sub verbo

This Latin phrase is often abbreviated: s.v. - and a similar phrase, "sub voce," is also similarly abbreviated.

1131. Nihil sub sole novum.

[novus: new] This is a saying from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, 1.

1132. Non nova, sed nove.

Notice the constrast between the neuter plural, nova, and the adverb, nove: Not new things, but in a new way. You can also find the saying in this form: Nove, sed non nova.

1133. Omni fine, initium novum.

You can supply an est to help make sense of the main clause in this sentence: initium novum est, "there is a new beginning." This is the class motto of the Virginia Tech class of 2005.

1134. Novus rex, nova lex.

This proverb depends on sound play that is impossible to capture in the English - and it's also a good way to remember the gender of the noun lex, feminine: nova.

1135. Novos amicos dum paras, veteres cole.

Notice the parallelism: novos amicos... veteres (amicos). As often, Latin omits the repeated parallel word. In English, we can might say "the new ones" - but we cannot get away with just the adjective, as Latin can.

1136. Erunt novissimi primi, et primi novissimi.

These words come from the Gospel of Matthew, 20. Notice that novissimus here can be translated as "latest" in a series, as opposed to the first in a series (primus) - hence the King James rendering of this verse: "So the last shall be first, and the first last." The Greek reads: οὕτως ἔσονται οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι. Someone's "last words" in Latin are verba novissima.

1137. Nihil novum super terram.

[super: above, on top, over] Nihil is the subject and novum is the predicate adjective: nihil (est) novum, "nothing is new." You can also find the saying in this form, Nil novi super terram, which is slightly different: nil novi is a noun phrase meaning "nothing new" (partitive genitive), so it would be rendered in English: "there is nothing new."

1138. Super omnia vincit veritas.

This is from the Biblical book of I Esdras: "Forte est vinum. Fortior est rex. Fortiores sunt mulieres. Super omnia autem vincit veritas." The saying has gained some notoriety of late from being found as an inscription in Rosslyn Chapel, made famous by Dan Brown's The Da Vince Code.

1139. Veritas est super omnia amanda et sequenda.

Note that the gerundives here express necessity or a command, and they agreed with the subject, veritas: You should love and follow truth...

1140. Leonis exuviae super asinum.

[exuviae: something stripped off, spoils, skin] This alludes to the famous Aesop's fable of the donkey in the lion's skin.

1141. Induitis me leonis exuvias.

[induo: put on, clothe, dress in] This can be taken in two ways: either as an allusion to the Aesop's fable (see previous saying), or as an allusion to Hercules and his wearing of the lion skin. In either case, the saying is about something inappropriate: I am a (donkey, a mere mortal) and you are asking me to put on a lion skin - please don't!

1142. Leonis pellem indue.

[pellis: skin] This is a variation on the previous saying, where someone is being urged to act courageously - either to play the lion, or to play Hercules, who was regularly depicted wearing the skin of the Nemean lion which he killed as one of his labors.

1143. Suam quisque pellem portat.

This is another one of those "cuique suum" sayings - this time it is about the skin we each wear, literally or metaphorically.

1144. Sub ovium pellibus lupi.

[ovis: sheep] Far more sinister than the donkey in the lion's skin are the wolves in sheep's clothing: the donkey is blustering and pretending to be more than he is, but the wolves are pretending to be harmless - when of course they are not! For more, see this Wikipedia article.

1145. Cognosco oves meas, et cognoscunt me meae.

These words are adapted from the Gospel of John, 10.

1146. Unam ovem sequuntur aliae.

Note that even though the verb sequor takes passive endings, it is still a transitive verb, able to take a direct object as here: unam ovem.

1147. Sicut oves in medio luporum.

These words from from the Gospel of Matthew, 10.

1148. Ovem lupo committis.

[committo: entrust, commit, start] Compare the proverbial English fox guarding the henhouse.

1149. Male irato ferrum committitur.

Note the substantive use of irato: to an angry (man). Ferrum, "iron," stands by metonymy for a sword: "It's a bad idea to entrust an angry man with a sword" (lit. "a sword is badly entrust to an angry man").

1150. Omnia Fortunae committo.

This is the MacDuff family motto.

Scala 24 (1151-1200)

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