Thursday, July 07, 2011

Scala 36 (1751-1800)

<== Go back to Scala 35 (1701-1750)

1751. Absit invidia verbo.

Compare the formulaic saying you saw earlier: Sit venia dicto.

1752. Litteris absentes videmus.

[littera: letter, letters, literature, education] You can see this illustration in one of the love emblems of Otto Vaenius: image.

1753. Litteras disce.

This is one of the pieces of advice from the so-called Cato in his monostichs.

1754. Litterarum radices amarae, fructus dulces.

The idea is that education is hard work, but with sweet results. Note the parallel structure: radices/fructus and amarae/dulces.

1755. Litterae sunt hominibus pulcherrimae divitiae.

Here you have a superlative statement: learning is not just a sweet fruit, but the most beautiful form of wealth, pulcherrimae divitiae.

1756. Vita sine litteris mors est.

Here is a paradoxical proverb about life and death: without education, vita mors est, "life is death."

1757. Litterae scriptae manent.

[scribo: write] We are so immersed in a world of writing, that it is hard for us to imagine what a magical thing it was when writing was able to fix words in a form that could last for years - indeed, for millennia.

1758. Vox audita perit, sed littera scripta manebit.

Unlike the written word, the spoken word did not last. It is heard (audita) and then it perishes (that is, until we developed the technology to record audio!). You can also see the same idea expressed in this parallel proverb: Vox audita perit, littera scripta manet.

1759. Durum est, sed ita lex scripta est.

Compare the saying you saw earlier: Dura lex, sed lex.

1760. Scribendo disces scribere.

Here you have the ablative form of the gerund, scribendo: "by means of writing." Note also the future tense: disces.

1761. Cito scribendo non fit ut bene scribatur; bene scribendo fit ut cito.

Note the use of the gerund phrases in the ablative: cito scribendo, "by writing quickly," and bene scribendo, "by writing well." Note also the parallel structure: Cito scribendo non fit ut bene scribatur; bene scribendo fit ut cito (scribatur).

1762. Scribere scribendo, dicendo dicere disces.

This expands on the previous saying to include both speaking and writing.

1763. Qui scribit bis legit.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is not expressed: (Is), qui scribit, bis legit.

1764. Scribendi nullus finis.

Here you have the gerund in the genitive: there is no end of writing, scribendi.

1765. post scriptum

This Latin phrase is often abbreviated: P.S. It is also the origin of the English word "postscript."

1766. Plus valet actum quam scriptum.

Compare the sayings you saw earlier that contrasted words and deeds: "Rebus, non verbis," "Factis, non verbis," etc.

1767. Verba volant, littera scripta manet.

Compare the earlier saying, "Vox audita perit, sed littera scripta manebit" - but this one has some nice alliteration: verba volant.

1768. Verba das in ventos.

[ventus: wind, breeze] This is a fool's errand, of course - the winds carry your words away to no avail. You can also find this idiom with the dative: verba dare ventis, to give words to the wind.

1769. Ventus est vita mea.

You can find these words in the Biblical book of Job, 7: Memento quia ventus est vita mea, et non revertetur oculus meus ut videat bona.

1770. In ventum verba profertis.

[profero: bring forward, put out, mention] Here is another version of the "verba ventis" type of proverb. These words are also from the Biblical book of Job, 7.

1771. Bonus homo de bono thesauro profert bona.

These words are from the Gospel of Matthew, 12.

1772. Malus homo de malo thesauro profert mala.

This is the flipside of the previous saying, also from the Gospel of Matthew, 12.

1773. Melius tacere quam falsa proferre.

[falsus: wrong, lying, false, fake] Here you have a comparative adjective, with the objects of comparison being the two infinitive phrases: tacere and false proferre. The infinitives are regarded as neuter nouns, hence the neuter form, melius.

1774. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

This is a Latin legal maxim which also applies to life in general; for an illustration, see the Aesop's fable about the boy who cried wolf.

1775. Testis in uno falsus, in nullo fidem meretur.

This is another version of the preceding saying. A witness either has "fides" or not - and the witness who lies in one thing "in nullo fidem meretur."

1776. Falsum committit, qui verum tacet.

This is another juridical principle: although we would not call keeping the truth silent a "lie" per se, this proverb declares it to be something falsum, a falsehood.

1777. Falsus in ore caret honore.

[os-oris: mouth] Notice the nice rhyme in this one: ore-honores.

1778. Aliud in ore, aliud in corde.

This is another one of those aliud...aliud sayings: One thing on the lips, another thing in the mind. This warns you to watch out for hypocritical people who say one thing and think another.

1779. Quod in corde, hoc in ore.

This is the flipside of the previous saying, this time praising the person who says what they think: What is in their mouth is that which is in their heart (on their mind, etc.).

1780. Non volat ovis in os lupi dormientis.

This is a "no free lunch" type of saying: when the wolf is sleeping (lupi dormientis), a sheep doesn't just fly into his mouth!

1781. De ore tuo te iudico.

[iudico: judge, pass judgment] You can find these words in the Gospel of Luke, 19.

1782. Tu quid iudicas fratrem tuum?

The words are from Paul's Letter to the Romans, 14. The word "quid" here has the force of "why, for what reason."

1783. Nolite iudicare, et non iudicabimini.

The version in the Gospel of Matthew, 7, reads: Nolite iudicare, ut non iudicemini.

1784. Minime iudica.

Here you see the use of the adverbial minime as the equivalent of a negative: minime iudica, "judge not at all" = "don't judge." The advice comes from the monostichs of the so-called Cato.

1785. Si vis regnare, nobilis iudicare.

From a letter of Remigius to King Clovis. Note the nice rhyme, regnare-iudicare, but don't forget that while regnare is an infinitive, iudicare is a present passive imperative, "be judged, be considered."

1786. Aequum iudica.

[aequus: even, equal, fair; adv. aeque] Here you have aequum being used adverbially: judge rightly, judge fairly, etc. This is also advice from the so-called Cato in his monostichs.

1787. Ius est ars boni et aequi.

This legal maxim is attributed to the second-century jurist Publius Iuventius Celsus; you can read more about him in this Wikipedia article.

1788. Aequo animo poenam qui meruere ferunt.

The words are from one of Ovid's elegies, 2.7. Note that the form meruere is the third-person plural perfect, equivalent to the form meruerunt. If you scan the line, you will see it is a pentameter. Here is the complete couplet: Atque ego peccati vellem mihi conscius essem! / aequo animo poenam, qui meruere, ferunt.

1789. Quod fors feret, feremus aequo animo.

Note the future tense forms: feret, feremus. The words come from Terence's Phormio.

1790. Ames parentem, si aequus est; si aliter, feras.

This is another one of the sayings collected by Publilius Syrus.

1791. Aequa mors est.

The justice of death is that it comes to all, equally - no one is exempt.

1792. Non omnia omnibus aeque feliciter cadunt.

Note that an adverb can be used to modify not just a verb and an adjective, but also another adverb, as here: aeque feliciter, "equally luckily."

1793. Aequo animo esto.

Here you see an ablative phrase, aequo animo, being used in the predicate (this is sometimes called the "ablative of quality"). In English you might say, "Be level-headed."

1794. Omnibus ex aequo non dant sua munera divi.

[divus: even, equal, fair; adv. aeque] The prepositional phrase "ex aequo" express the idea of "equally, in equal measure."

1795. Aequo pede propera.

[propero: hurry, be quick, speed up] This is the motto of the Leigh St. Thomas Church of England primary school in Lancashire, England.

1796. Longa via est: propera.

The words are from Ovid's Tristia, 1.1.

1797. Serius aut citius, sedem properamus ad unam.

[sedes: seat, home, residence] Note how the nouns wrap around the preposition, unam, while the prepositional phrase itself then wraps around the verb. Very elegant! The words are from Ovid's Metamorphoses, 10.

1798. Gratia namque cum fieri properat, gratia grata magis.

[namque: for indeed, truly] This is one of the epigrams of Ausonius: Gratia, quae tarda est, ingrata est: gratia namque / cum fieri properat, gratia grata magis.

1799. Lupus ante clamorem properat.

[clamor: shouting, outcry, noise] The idea is that wolves - metaphorical thieves - work stealthily, and will run away when detected. Erasmus includes this version in his Adagia, 2.7.79: Lupus ante clamorem festinat.

1800. Fures clamorem timent.

[fur: thief] Compare the previous saying about wolves, who are metaphorical fures.

Scala 37 (1801-1850)

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