Sunday, July 03, 2011

Scala 28 (1351-1400)

<== Go back to Scala 27 (1301-1350)

1351. Optimum cibi condimentum fames.

[cibus: food] This is a variation on the previous saying, now with the nice alliterature phrase, cibi condimentum.

1352. Modicus cibi, medicus sibi.

[modicus: moderate, controlled] This saying features a double rhyme: modicus-medicus and cibi-sibi.

1353. Modice vivere est optime vivere.

This saying depends on the two adverbs, modice and optime.

1354. Quid timidi estis, modicae fidei?

These words are from the Gospel of Matthew, 8. The genitive phrase, modicae fidei, is what is called a "genitive of description," which is rendered in the King James Bible as "O ye of little faith."

1355. Summum cape, et modicum habebis.

[capio: grab, grasp, get] Note the combination of imperative (cape) and future (habebis). You can also see the saying expressed with these words: Summum cape, et medium tenebis.

1356. Occasio capienda est.

Here you have another example of the gerundive used to express necessity; the feminine singular capienda agrees with the subject of the sentence, occasio.

1357. Qui capit, capitur.

This is one of those "karma" proverbs, which expresses the idea that what you do unto others will be done unto you.

1358. Voluptate capiuntur omnes.

You can find these words in Cicero's treatise, De Legibus, 1.

1359. Qui amat divitias, fructus non capiet ex eis.

Be careful with fructus: since it is the object of capiet, fructus must be accusative plural. The words are from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, 5.

1360. Mundus non capit duos soles.

[duo: two] Be careful with the word, soles: it is from the noun sol, "sun," and is here in the accusative plural, as you can tell from the adjective duos.

1361. Nemo potest duobus dominis servire.

The verb servire takes a dative complement: duobus dominis. The words are from the Gospel of Matthew, 6.

1362. Duobus dominis ne servias.

This takes the same idea as in the previous saying, and turns it into a prohibition: ne servias.

1363. Nos duo turba sumus.

[turba: crowd, mob, commotion] The words are from Ovid's Metamophoses, 1, as Deucalion speaks to Pyrrha, when he realizes they are the only two people left on the earth after the flood.

1364. Noli pugnare duobus.

[pugno: fight, contend] Notice that the verb pugnare can take a dative complement: to fight against two (opponents), pugnare duobus. The verb can also be used with a preposition such as cum, to fight with; for an example see the following proverb.

1365. Uni cum duobus non est pugnandum.

Here you have the same idea expressed impersonally, with the gerundive in the neuter singular: pugnandum. Now the dative expresses agency with the gerundive: uni non est pugnandum, one person should not fight.

1366. Cum diis non pugnandum.

Here is another gerundive expressing an impersonal comment. In English, we might render that general idea as, "You shouldn't fight with the gods."

1367. Non est pugnandum cum Fortuna.

Here is another opponent to avoid: Fortuna, Lady Luck.

1368. Omne vitium contra naturam pugnat.

Here you see yet another preposition that can be used with the verb pugnare: contra.

1369. Ne pugnes de alieno.

The preposition de can be used to describe what people are fighting over or fight about: ne pugnes de alieno, "don't fight over what belongs to someone else." You can also find the saying in this form: Ne depugnes in alieno negotio.

1370. Ne capra contra leonem pugnet.

[capra: goat, she-goat] Note the use of the subjunctive: pugnet - " A she-goat should not fight against the lion."

1371. Ne capra contra leonem.

This is an abbreviated form of the previous saying. The verb is implied but not stated - the negative particle ne and the preposition contra give you all the information you need in Latin, although in English we need to supply a verb.

1372. Capra gladium.

[gladius: sword] This highly abbreviated proverb gives you a goat in the nominative case, and a sword in accusative case. Since you know that a goat has no business with a sword, you can tell that this must be some kind of proverb about a foolish or even dangerous situation. The story that explains the proverb is about a goat who was led out to sacrifice, but the priest did not have a knife; the goat, however, scratched in the ground and, lo and behold, uncovered a knife, which was used to complete the sacrifice; as a result the saying replies to anyone who brings about their own destruction. You can find the saying and the story in Erasmus's Adagia, 1.1.57.

1373. Qui gladio utitur, gladio peribit.

Compare the English saying, "He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword." You can read about the various Latin forms of this expression in this essay at the Audio Latin Proverbs blog.

1374. Omnes qui acceperint gladium, gladio peribunt.

This is yet another expression of the idea in the previous saying, this time in the plural (omnes qui) rather than in the singular.

1375. Qui in gladio occiderit, oportet eum gladio occidi.

Note that oportet takes an accusative and infinitive complement: it is fitting for him (eum) to be killed (occidi).

1376. Ne puero gladium.

[puer: boy, child] Compare the earlier saying: Capra gladium. This one gives you a negative particle, ne, a dative, puero, and an accusative object for the implied verb, gladium. The dative gives you the clue about how to put this one together: Don't (give) a sword to a boy.

1377. Puero gladium ne committas.

This expresses the same idea as the previous saying, this time with an explicit verb: committas.

1378. Quod puer non didicit, non discet vir.

Note the use of the future, discet.

1379. Bis puer senex.

[senex: old, old man] You can also find this saying in the plural: Bis pueri senes.

1380. Seni verba dare difficile est.

The Latin idiom "verba dare" means to fool, to trick: It is a difficult things to trick an old man.

1381. Rarum est felix idemque senex.

The word idem is used with two adjectives, it means "at the same time," "likewise," "also," etc. - felix idemque senex, "a man who is happy and likewise old."

1382. Ea pueri discant quibus sunt senes usuri.

Note the elegant future active participle: sunt senes usuri, "they, (as) old men, are going to use."

1383. Quod puer non didiceris, seni tibi discendum erit.

The gerundive expresses the idea of an agent in the dative case: seni tibi, "you will have to learn it (when you are) an old man."

1384. Etiam seni est discendum.

Here you have an impersonal gerundive, discendum, with the agent expressed in the dative: An old man too (etiam) must learn things.

1385. Senex bos non lugetur.

[lugeo: mourn, grieve, lament] Manutius included this saying in his appendix to the proverbs in Erasmus's Adagia.

1386. Vetulus bos lugetur a nemine.

[vetulus: old, elderly] This is a variation on the previous saying. Note the use of the diminutive adjective, vetulus - in this usage, the diminutive does not convey smallness in size, but rather a pathetic character - the poor old ox, vetulus bos.

1387. Vetula simia non capitur laqueo.

[laqueus: trap, snare, noose] Here you have another old animal, vetula simula - but this time the old animal is wise and crafty, so that she is not caught in a snare.

1388. Vetula vulpes laqueo non capitur.

[vulpes: fox; diminutive: vulpecula] Here is the same saying about another proverbially sly animal, the fox. You can also find this saying with a different adjective for the old fox, annosa: Vulpes annosa non capitur laqueo.

1389. Vulpes ad vulpem.

Compare a similar saying, "Cum vulpe vulpinandum."

1390. Vulpecula muneribus non capitur.

Notice the diminutive vulpecula, which is very commonly used instead of the standard noun, vulpes.

1391. Ars varia vulpi.

Here the dative, vulpi, expresses something like possession in English: The skill of the fox is varied. Of course, just because the fox has a big back of tricks, this does not mean she always escapes from danger; just the opposite, in fact, as in this Aesop's fable.

1392. Ex cauda vulpem.

[cauda: tail] The accusative vulpem lets you know that there is a verb implied here; compare the saying you saw earlier: Ex fructu arborem.

1393. In cauda venenum.

[venenum: poison, venom] This is not necessarily true of snakes, but it expresses a metaphorical truth: things may start off well - bu tyou can expect the worst to come at the end, in cauda venenum.

1394. Quod cibus est aliis, aliis est venenum.

This is another one of those alius...alius sayings: What is food for some people is poison for others.

1395. Bibit venenum in auro.

[bibo: drink] The word aurum here stands for a golden goblet - the paradoxical image is drinking foul poison from a fair goblet made of gold.

1396. Bibe, si bibis.

The words can be found in Plautus's Stichus.

1397. Bibo, ergo sum.

This is a joking play on the famous declaration by the philosopher Descartes: Cogito, ergo sum.

1398. Sum, ergo bibo; bibo, ergo sum.

This is another play on Descartes' "Cogito, ergo sum."

1399. Bibe cum gaudio vinum tuum.

[gaudium: joy, delight, rejoicing] You will find these words in the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, 9.

1400. Malum alienum tuum ne feceris gaudium.

You can see here the perfect subjunctive used to express a negative command: ne feceris. Notice also the way the phrase "tuum gaudium" wraps around the verbal phrase.

Scala 29 (1401-1450)

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