Sunday, July 03, 2011

Scala 27 (1301-1350)

<== Go back to Scala 26 (1251-1300)

1301. Nihil possumus contra veritatem.

This is a maxim of legal Latin, but it can also apply to life at large.

1302. Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos?

You can find these words in Paul's letter to the Romans, 8. You can also find the idea expressed in this way: Si Deus nobiscum; quis contra?

1303. Qui non est mecum, contra me est.

You can find these words in the Gospel of Luke, 11.

1304. Contra spem in spem credidit.

These words also come from Paul's letter to the Romans, 8.

1305. Omne vitium contra naturam est.

[vitium: fault, defect, vice, sin] Compare this saying about "omne nimium" which you saw earlier: Omne nimium est naturae inimicum.

1306. Quis nostrum sine vitiis est?

The word nostrum is used as the partitive genitive of the pronoun nos: Quis nostrum... Which of us...?

1307. Sua cuique sunt vitia.

This is yet another example of the "cuique suum" type of proverb.

1308. Nemo sine vitio est.

The double negative - nemo sine - means that we all have our faults! You can also find the saying in this form: Nemo sine vitiis nascitur.

1309. Vitia sua nemo videt.

This is one of the main reasons why the admonition to know yourself - nosce te ipsum - is so difficult to boey.

1310. Qui vitia odit, homines odit.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is not expressed: (Is), qui vitia odit, homines odit.

1311. Pacem cum inimicis, bellum cum vitiis.

Note the parallel structure: pacem/bellum and hominibus/vitiis.

1312. Homines vitia sua et amant simul et oderunt.

Homines can be nominative or accusative, as can the phrase vitia sua; it is the meaning which lets you know that homines must be the subject of the verbs, and vitia sua the object.

1313. Amici cum vitiis ferendi.

Here you have the gerundive being used to express necessity; the masculine plural form agrees with the subject, amici: You have to put up with your friends and their faults.

1314. Amici vitia si feras, facias tua.

Here is a different take on the problem of the failings of your friends: if you (hypothetically, subjunctive) put up with the faults of a friend, you make those faults your own: facies (amici vitia) tua (vitia).

1315. Otium omnia vitia parit.

Here the verb, parit, singular, lets you know that otium must be the subject, and omnia vitia the object.

1316. Vitium est et omnibus credere et nulli.

Here the infinitive credere is being used as a noun: It is a fault both to believe everybody (omnibus credere) and also to believe nobody (nulli credere).

1317. Vitium est omnia credere, vitium nihil credere.

This is the same idea as in the previous saying, but now expressed in terms of omnia v. nihil.

1318. Avaritia omnia vitia habet.

[avaritia: greed, avarice] The sound play of the Latin is very charming: avaritia - vitia, and we even hear an echo of that in our English derivates: it does sound like "avarice" has all the "vices" in it!

1319. Cavete ab omni avaritia.

As you have seen before, the verb cavere can take an ablative phrase, in the sense of avoiding or keeping away from, as here: ab omni avaritia.

1320. Avaritia nihil miserius.

The word miserius is the neuter comparative form of the adjective miser, so it agrees with nihil. What to do with avaritia? It needs to be the ablative of comparison: "There is nothing (nihil) more wretched (miserius) than avaritia (avaritia, ablative)."

1321. Avaritia est radix omnium malorum.

[radix: root ] Note the substantive use of the adjective malorum: "bad (things)."

1322. Invidia est radix malorum omnium.

As you can see, there are different things competing to be the root of all evil! Which do you think: avaritia? invidia?

1323. De radice bona nascitur omne bonum.

The word bonum is being used against substantively: omne bonum, "every good (thing)."

1324. A radice mala nascuntur pessima mala.

This takes the same idea as in the previous saying, and gives the negative side of things.

1325. Radix omnium bonorum caritas.

These words can be found in one of the sermons of Saint Augustine, 72.

1326. Radix omnium malorum est cupiditas.

[cupiditas: desire, passion, lust, greed] Here is yet another candidate for the root of all evil: cupiditas; this statement comes from the Paul's first letter to Timothy, 1. (The earlier candidates were avaritia and invidia.)

1327. Cupiditas pecuniae fugienda.

Here is the gerundive being used to express necessity; fugienda, feminine singular, agrees with the subject of the sentence: cupiditas pecuniae, "desire for money."

1328. Cupiditati nihil satis.

[satis: enough, adequate, sufficient] The word satis can take a dative complement, as here: Nothing is enough for desire. In other words: Desire can never get enough!

1329. Satis est quod sufficit.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is not expressed: Satis est (hoc), quod sufficit.

1330. Satis est beatus, qui potest, cum vult, mori.

In addition to modifying verbs, adverbs can also modify adjectives, as here: satis beatus, "sufficiently blessed." This is another one of the sayings of Publilius Syrus.

1331. Nec satis rationis in armis.

The word satis can take a genitive complement, as here: satis rationis, "enough (of) reason." You can find these words in Vergil's Aeneid, 2: arma amens capio; nec sat rationis in armis.

1332. Numquam satis discitur.

The passive discitur is being used impersonally here; in English we might say, "There is never enough learning."

1333. Tacent; satis laudant.

These words are from Terence's Eunuchus. The idea is that silence is praise enough (it is better than being explicitly criticized after all!).

1334. Satius fugere quam male manere.

Notice that satius here is a comparative - more than enough - and the things being compared are the two infinitive phrases: fugere (running away) and male manere (remaining in a bad situation).

1335. Amor amara dat satis.

[amarus: bitter, pungent, harsh] There is a play on words here with amor, "love" and amara "bitter things" - this neuter plural is the accusative object of the verb dat. The words are adapted from Plautus's Trinummus.

1336. Post amara, dulcia.

You have neuter plurals here, being used substantively: After the bitter (things), sweet (things).

1337. Melior est mors quam vita amara.

Here amara is feminine singular, agreeing with vita. The words come from the Bibical book of Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), 30: melior est mors quam vita amara et requies aeterna quam languor perseverans.

1338. Dulce etiam fugias, quod amarum fieri potest.

Both dulce and amarum are being used substantively here: the sweet (thing) and the bitter (thing).

1339. Amarus vitiorum fructus.

[fructus: fruit] Here you need to distinguish between the subject, vitiorum fructus (the fruit of vices) and the predicate, amarus (bitter). Although fructus could be nominative singular or nominative plural, the unambiguous form amarus lets you know that fructus must be nominative singular.]

1340. A fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos.

Note the future tense: cognoscetis. (It's a matter of vowels: cognoscitis, present; cognoscetis, future; cognoscatis, present subjunctive.) The words come from the Gospel of Matthew, 7.

1341. Ex fructu arborem.

[arbor: tree] The verb is implied here, but not stated - what we do know is that arborem is the object of that unstated verb: from its fruit (you can recognize, we shall know, etc.) the tree.

1342. Ex fructu proprio cognoscitur arbor.

Here is that same idea, with the tree as the subject of a passive verb: cognoscitur.

1343. Mala arbor fructus malos facit.

This is how you can know a tree by its fruit: an apple tree produces appears, a pear tree produces pears, and, metaphorically, an evil tree (mala arbor) produces evil fruits (fructus malos). The structure is a parallel: mala/malos and arbor/fructus, with a chiastic inversion.

1344. Omnis arbor bona fructus bonos facit.

This explores the same idea of the previous proverb, now in positive terms - no longer a mala arbor, but an arbor bona.

1345. Pecunia in arboribus non crescit.

As far as I know this is not a classical or medieval Latin saying, but it certainly has acquired a strong currency on the Internet nowadays!

1346. Una arbor non facit silvam.

[silva: forest, woods] This saying is a good way to remember the gender of the third-declension noun, arbor, feminine: una.

1347. Fames pellit lupum ex silvis.

[fames: hunger, famine] Notice that Latin can use silva, singular, like the English singular "forest," and also the plural silvae, like the English plural "woods."

1348. Fames artium magistra.

The word fames is a feminine noun, hence the use of the feminine form of magister, magistra, as the predicate noun in this saying.

1349. Auri fames imperiosa.

Compare a similar saying: "lnter omnia auri fames durissima est." The idea of a "hunger" for gold is paradoxical, of course - a paradox nicely exploited in the story of Midas and his golden touch!

1350. Fames optimum condimentum.

[condimentum: spice, seasoning, condiment] Compare the English saying, "Hunger is the best sauce."

Scala 28 (1351-1400)

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