Thursday, July 07, 2011

Scala 35 (1701-1750)

<== Go back to Scala 34 (1651-1700)

1701. Vir bonus et sapiens quaerit super omnia pacem.

The words are from the poem Zodiacus Vitae by the 16th-century poet Palingenius.

1702. Omnes quae sua sunt, quaerunt.

The words from the Paul's letter to the Philippians, 2.

1703. Quaerite et invenietis.

The words are from the Gospel of Luke, 11. Note the future tense: invenietis.

1704. Qui quaerit, invenit.

This also comes from the Gospel of Luke, 11: Omnis enim qui petit, accipit: et qui quaerit, invenit: et pulsanti aperietur.

1705. Quaerendo invenietis.

Here you have the same idea expressed with the ablative of the gerund: "by seeking."

1706. Necessitas quod celat, frustra quaeritur.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is omitted: Hoc, necessitas quod celat...

1707. Dum quaeris, hora fugit.

Compare the earlier saying: Horam dum petis, ultimam para. The phrase "quaeris (horam)" expresses the same idea here: as you are seeking (to know what time it is), time is running away.

1708. Potenti irasci sibi periclum est quaerere.

This is another of the sayings of Publilius Syrus. Note that you have two infinitives functioning as a noun phrases: to get angry at a powerful person (potenti irasci) is to seek trouble for yourself (sibi periculum quaerere).

1709. Sero in periclis est consilium quaerere.

Here you again have an infinitive serving as a noun phrase: consilium quaerere (seeking advice, making a plan) sero in perclis est. This too is a maxim recorded by Publilius Syrus.

1710. Si quaeratur honos, non fugiatur onus.

Note the hypothetical subjunctives: quaeratur, fugiatur. The passives express a general kind of idea that we might express with "you" in English - If you seek public office, you can't avoid the burdens of it. Alas, the English cannot capture the wonderful word play of honos and onus. Compare the saying you saw earlier with the same word play: Honos habet onus.

1711. Cui multum datum est, multum quaeretur ab eo.

Note the future tense: quaeretur.

1712. In medio mari quaeris undas.

[unda: wave] Compare the other fool's errand you already saw: In mari aquam quaeris.

1713. Mediis sitiens in undis.

[sitio: thirst, be thirsty, thirst for] This is another example of a paradoxical situation, alluding to the punishment of Tantalus. Compare also the words of Iphis in the story of Iphis and Ianthe in Ovid's Metamorphosis, 9: mediis sitiemus in undis.

1714. Si sitit inimicus tuus, potum da illi.

The sentiment is found in Paul's letter to the Romans, 12.

1715. Quanto plus bibunt, tanto magis sitiunt.

[tantus: as great, as much, such, only] This was a paradoxical belief that the Romans associated with the Parthians, so you can also find the saying in this form: Parthi quo plus bibunt eo plus sitiunt. You can see the correlative use of quanto...tanto here (like qualis...talis or quot...tot); the ablatives express "how much" more.

1716. Quantum potes, tantum aude.

Here is another proverb built on the correlative use of quantum...tantum.

1717. Tanti eris aliis, quanti tibi fueris.

Here you see the correlative use of tanti...quanti in the genitive, which is used descriptively, to express how something is valued, how much it is worth: how much you will be worth to others is how much you are worth to yourself!

1718. Nulla valet tantum virtus, patientia quantum.

The idea here is that nulla virtus, "no (other) virtue" is as powerful as the virtue of patience.

1719. Tanto gratius quanto citius.

[citus: swift, quick; cito: quickly] Here you have the ablative of tanto...quanto being used with the comparative to express "how much" - The more quickly, the more pleasing. There is no verb expressed, but the idea is that the quicker you can do someone a favor, repay a loan, etc., the more pleasing that will be!

1720. Citius, altius, fortius.

These three comparative adverbs - Faster, higher, stronger - is the motto of the modern Olympics; read more in this Wikipedia article.

1721. Cito, non temere.

This contrasts two adverbs: you should do things quickly (cito) but not rashly (temere).

1722. Cito quod fit, cito perit.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is implied but not expressed: Cito quod fit, (hoc) cito perit.

1723. Qui cito credit, cito perit.

This proverbs offers up a warning with the rhyme: credit-perit.

1724. Ne cito credas!

This expresses the negative command using ne and subjunctive: credas.

1725. Nihil discit qui cito discit.

Again, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is not expressed: (Is) nihil discit, qui cito discit.

1726. Cito fit quod di volunt.

You can find these words in Petronius's Satyricon.

1727. Bis dat qui cito dat.

Compare the saying above: Tanto gratius quanto citius.

1728. Pecuniae citissime pereunt.

Here you have the superlative adverb formed from citus: citissime.

1729. Aetas cito pede praeterit.

[praetereo: pass by, omit, pass over] You can also find this idea expressed as follows: Transit aetas quam cito!

1730. Nihil, nisi quod praeteriit certum est.

You have already seen that the future is uncertain: Omne futurum incertum.

1731. Praeterita semper meliora.

People seem to fall into two types - those who are expecting better things in the future, and those who think the best things are in the past: Praeterita semper meliora.

1732. In praeteritum non vivitur.

Compare the English saying, "Let bygones be bygones."

1733. Tempus praeteritum numquam revertitur.

The "tempus praeteritum" is the time that has gone by - and, in grammar, it is the "past tense."

1734. Praeterita non mutantur.

In English, we use the word "change" both transitively (I changed the lightbulb) and intransitively (the position of the sun changes during the day); in Latin, the active forms of muto correspond to the transitive English usage, while the passive forms are intransitive, as here: things that have happened in the past do not change, non mutantur.

1735. Mutare praeterita nemo potest.

Here you see the verb mutare used transitively, with praeterita, "things past," as the direct object. You can also find this idea expressed with the first person plural: Praeterita mutare non possumus.

1736. Rosam praeteritam ne quaeras.

[rosa: rose] Note the use of the subjunctive with ne to express a negative command: ne quaeras, do not seek...

1737. sub rosa

This is not a classical Latin phrase. You will find sources which claim that in ancient times people hung roses from the ceiling to indicate that what happened in the room was "sub rosa," i.e. to be secret - but there is no evidence for any such practice in antiquity, and attestations as to the use of this phrase belong to the Renaissance and later. For more about this topic, see the discussion beginning on p. 355 of La rose dans l'antiquité et au moyen âge: Histoire, légendes et symbolisme by Charles Joret, available at Google Books.

1738. Nimium breves flores rosae.

[flos: flower; dim. flosculus] Here the adverb nimium modifies an adjective, nimium breves: too short, too short-lived.

1739. Unus flos non facit ver.

[ver: spring, springtime] This saying is a good way to remember the gender of the third-declension noun, flos - masculine, unus.

1740. Sequitur ver hiemem.

[hiems: winter] Erasmus included this saying in his Adages, 2.4.89.

1741. Non semper aestas erit: venit hiems.

[aestas: summer, summer heat] This is a literal statement about the weather, but it is also a metaphorical statement about the coming of hard times or, if you prefer, the coming of old age.

1742. Alia aestate, alia hieme.

This is another one of those alia...alia sayings - Some things (you do) in summer, other things in winter.

1743. Una hirundo non facit aestatem.

[hirundo: swallow (bird)] Compare the English saying, "One swallow doesn't make a summer."

1744. Hirundo una ver non facit.

Here the swallow's advent is associated with spring.

1745. Nova hirundo veris est initium.

This saying explains the existence of the earlier sayings warning you about the sign of the swallow: the swallow really is a harbinger of the warm weather, but you don't want to get overly excited. For a story about the swallow and spring, see the Aesop's fable about the gambler and his clothes.

1746. Hirundo aestatem loquitur.

Here you see the verb loquor taking a direct object: the swallow "speaks" summer as it were, she announces the summer. (Compare Plautus: loquere tuum mihi nomen, "tell me your name.")

1747. Ne male loquere absenti amico.

[absum: be away, be absent] The words are from Plautus's Trinummus. Here you have the dative, absenti amico, with the phrase male loqui, which means to speak ill or curse someone (compare the similar verb: maledico, which also takes the dative case). Just before, the same character, Charmides, had insisted: "Te potius bene dicere aequomst homini amico, quam male," "(I told) you rather to speak well and rightly about a man who is our friend, rather than badly." The other character does not take Charmides' advice either time!

1748. De absentibus nisi bene.

Here the verb is implied but not expressed: Do not speak about those who are absent (de absentibus), unless you speak well of them (nisi bene).

1749. De absentibus nihil nisi bonum.

This expresses the same idea again: (Say) nothing about those who are absent (nihil de absentibus), unless what you say is something good (nisi bonum).

1750. Timor omnis abesto.

Here you have the future imperative being used with a third-person subject: Let all fear be absent.

Scala 36 (1751-1800)

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