Saturday, July 09, 2011

Scala 38 (1851-1900)

<== Go back to Scala 37 (1801-1850)

1851. Ama proximum.

This expresses the Biblical principle of "diliges proximum tuum," but using the verb amare instead of diligere.

1852. Vivamus atque amemus.

[atque: and, also, as well] The words are adapted from one of the poems of Catullus, 5: Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus.

1853. Nummis atque Deo servire potest nemo bene.

Note that the verb servio takes a dative complement: nummis atque Deo. Compare the words of the Gospel of Matthew, 6: Non potestis Deo servire et mammonae. (For more about the word mammon, see this Wikipedia article.)

1854. Pugnare cum deo atque fortuna grave.

Here you have an infinitive phrase serving as the subject of the sentence (pugnare cum deo atque fortuna) and a predicate adjective. Because the infinitive is regarded as a neuter noun, you have the neuter form of the adjective: grave.

1855. Ex alto casus gravior.

[casus: fall, downfall, accident, chance] Compare the English saying, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall."

1856. Duros vincit patientia casus.

Notice here that the accusative noun phrase, duros casus (casus is accusative plural), is wrapped around the main subject and verb, vincit patientia. Compare the motto you saw earlier about patience and hard things: Patientia dura frango.

1857. Omnia casu fiunt.

Here you have casu in the sense of "chance" or "accident."

1858. Quam miserum est, ubi consilium casu vincitur!

The quam here is exclamatory: quam miserum est, what a wretched thing it is!

1859. Nemo est casu bonus; discenda virtus est.

This proverb does not assume that all things happen by chance; instead, you must work to make yourself good. Discenda here is a gerundive, agreeing with the subject, virtus, expressing the idea of necessity or a command.

1860. Periculosior casus ab alto.

[periculosus: dangerous, risky] Compare the saying you saw earlier: Ex alto casus gravior.

1861. Semper ex alto periculosior casus est.

This is a more emphatic statement of the preceding idea: semper periculosior est!

1862. Periculosum est credere et non credere.

Here you have a paralle proverb: Periculosum est credere et (periculosum est ) non credere.

1863. Potentum amicitiae sunt periculosae.

Note the genitive plural: potentum, from the adjective potens. You can also find it spelled with an i: potentium.

1864. Semper vitato potentem.

[vito: avoid, evade] Here you have a future imperative: vitato.

1865. Bonum est faciendum et malum vitandum.

Here is another parallel proverb: bonum/malum and faciendum/vitandum. The neuter forms faciendum and vitandum agree with the neuter subjects: bonum, "the good thing" or just "the good," and malum, "the bad thing" or "evil."

1866. Fortunam nemo vitare potest.

You cannot avoid Lady Luck, and you cannot fight with her either: Non est pugnandum cum Fortuna.

1867. Mala praevisa vitantur facilius.

[praevideo: see in advance, foresee] The neuter comparative form, facilius, is being used as an adverb: more easily.

1868. Mala praevisa minus nocent.

[minus: less ] Here you have a different comparative adverb, minus. As with facilius in the previous saying, the neuter form is used as an adverb; minus is the neuter form of the comparative adjective minor.

1869. Consilia minus utilia sunt quam exempla.

Here the adverb minus is being used to modify an adjective: minus utilia, more useful. (There is a positive comparative form, utiliora, but to express a negative comparison, you have to use minus: minus utilia.)

1870. Minus est quam servus dominus, qui servos timet.

Here the adverb minus is modifying the verb: a master is less than a slave (minus est quam servus), if he fears his own slaves.

1871. Sapiens nusquam minus solus quam cum solus.

The idea here is that the wise man is never alone with his thoughts: he is never less alone (minus solus) than when he is alone (cum solus).

1872. Minus habendum est, ut minus desit.

[desum: lack, be absent, be missing] The impersonal neuter gerundive, habendum, expresses the idea of necessity or a command: you should have less, in order to lack less (minus desit).

1873. Homini nihil habenti nihil deest.

The word nihil is the object of the participle, habenti: the man who has nothing (nihil habenti) lacks nothing (nihil deest). Note that the verb deest takes a dative complement: homini.

1874. Inopiae desunt pauca, avaritiae omnia.

You can see again the dative complements with the verb desunt: inopiae, avaritiae. You can also find the saying with multa instead of pauca: Inopiae desunt multa, avaritiae omnia.

1875. Cui deest pecunia, huic desunt omnia.

Here you see the datives again - cui, huic - although the saying is not an endorsement of the ascetic lifestyle that you saw in the previous sayings!

1876. Non deest spes.

This is a motto of the Forbes family.

1877. Spe exspecto.

[exspecto: await, anticipate, hope for] This wonderful motto is based on a sound play between "spe" and "exspecto," even if the words themselves do not have an actual etymological relationship. The -spe- in exspecto is the same root of seeing that you find in verbs like aspicio and in the noun speculum, mirror.

1878. Ab alio exspectes, alteri quod feceris.

Here you have the subjunctive, exspectes, expressing a hypothetical possibility. Compare the saying you saw earlier: Quod tibi vis fieri, hoc fac alteri.

1879. Occasionem exspecta.

You can combine this advice with the advice you saw earlier: "Occasionem cognosce" and "Occasionem arripe."

1880. Messis tempus boves exspectant.

[messis: harvest] This is one of the sayings Erasmus included in his Adagia, 3.2.52: Boves messis tempus exspectantes.

1881. Quale semen, talis est messis.

[semen: seed, sowing] You have seen these qualis...talis sayings before, e.g. "Qualis mater, talis et filia," "Qualis avis, talis cantus," etc.

1882. Naturae sequitur semina quisque suae.

Notice how the noun phrase is interwoven throughout the statement: "naturae...semina...suae," "the seeds of its own nature.

1883. Malorum seminum malae segetes.

[seges: crop, field of grain] The idea is that bad crops come from bad seeds. Saint Gregory of Nazianzus compares the bad crops that come from bad seeds to the bad teachings of bad teachers: malorum magistrorum malae doctrinae sunt.

1884. Etiam post malam segetem serendum est.

[sero: sow, plant] The impersonal neuter gerundive, serendum est, expresses the idea of necessity or command: you have to plant seeds, even (etiam) after a bad crop.

1885. Ex bellis bella seruntur.

This extends the idea of planting crops to the metaphorical dimension of war: wars are grown from the seeds of war.

1886. Alii serunt, alii metunt.

[meto: reap, harvest] This is one of those alii...alii saying: Some people do the sowing, but other people reap the harvest.

1887. Tibi seris, tibi metis.

The idea here is that (as) you sow for yourself, (so) you reap for yourself. It is the motto of Buller High School in Westport, New Zealand.

1888. Messem metis alienam.

This saying is in contrast to the previous saying: instead of reaping your own harvest, you are trying to reap someone else's harvest! Here is an expanded version of the same idea from the Gospel of Matthew, 26: Metis ubi non seminasti, et congregas ubi non sparsisti.

1889. Quod serimus, metimus; quod damus, accipimus.

This proverb shows how the work of sowing and reaping can be generalized to the practice of giving and receiving. The line is from a poem by the fifth-century Christian poet Prosper of Aquitaine.

1890. Cum est matura seges, metendum.

[maturus: ripe, early, timely] The neuter gerundive is used impersonally here to indicate that "we must reap" or "you must reap." (Note that it pointedly does not agree with the word seges, which is feminine: "seges metenda est" is how you would say the crop must be harvested.)

1891. Senex mature fias, ut maneas diu.

You can also find the saying expressed in these words: Mature fias senex, si diu velis esse senex. The proverb is discussed in Cicero's treatise, De Senectute, where the 84-year-old Cato rejects the idea and says instead: Ego vero me minus diu senem esse mallem quam esse senem, ante quam essem, "Indeed, I would rather that I be old for less long a time than to be old before my time."

1892. Avis matura vermem capit.

[vermis: worm] Compare the English saying, "the early bird catches the worm."

1893. Caro data vermibus.

[caro: flesh, meat] There is an odd little folk etymology for the Latin word cadaver, based on this saying: CA-ro DA-ta -VER-mibus. The scientific etymology of cadaver, however, derives the word from the verb cado, so the cadaver is a man who has fallen.

1894. Neque caro neque piscis est.

Compare the English saying, "Neither fish nor flesh."

1895. Quod natum est ex carne, caro est.

You will find these words in the Gospel of John, 3.

1896. Omnis caro faenum.

[faenum: hay] The words are from the Biblical book of Isaiah, 40: omnis caro faenum et omnis gloria eius quasi flos agri.

1897. Faenum habet in cornu: longe fuge!

[cornu: horn] The warning comes from Horace's Satires, 1.4. The idea is that the owner of a mean-tempered bull would tie a bit of hay around one of the bull's horns as a warning to watch out.

1898. Bovem cornu trahit.

Compare the English saying, "he's got the bull by the horns." Compare also the more dangerous situation which you saw earlier: Auribus lupum teneo.

1899. Cornu ferit ille, caveto!

[ferio: hit, strike, wound, kill] The words come from one of Vergil's Eclogues, referring to a bad-tempered billy goat - although the point of the saying is that it can be applied to any mean-tempered creature, including those of the human persuasion. The form caveto is a future imperative, from the verb cavere, to watch out or take care.

1900. Qui gladio ferit, gladio perit.

Compare the saying you saw earlier: Qui gladio utitur, gladio peribit.

Scala 39 (1901-1950)

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