Sunday, July 10, 2011

Scala 39 (1901-1950)

<== Go back to Scala 38 (1851-1900)

1901. Feriunt omnes; ultima necat.

[neco: slay, kill] The secret femine noun here is hora: Feriunt omnes (horae); ultima (hora) necat.

1902. Plures necat gula quam gladius.

This saying benefits from the wonderful word play between gula and gladius - they sound somewhat ailke, but the proverb warns us that the gula is far more deadly than the gladius.

1903. Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat.

[vulnero: wound, injure] Like the saying you saw above, the feminine noun "hora" is the clue to this saying: Vulnerant omnes (horae), (hora) ultima necat.

1904. Veritas vulneratur, sed mori non potest.

This saying features a nice sound play with veritas and vulneratur.

1905. Bello gladius, voluptas pace vulnerat.

Note the parallelism: bello/pace and gladius/voluptas, with a chiastic inversion.

1906. Et arma et verba vulnerant.

Here you have the construction in Latin, which is equivalent ot the English "both...and..."

1907. Inter arma silent Musae.

[Musa: Muse] Compare the saying you saw earlier: Silent enim leges inter arma.

1908. Aurora Musis amica est.

[aurora: dawn, light of dawn] In other words, the Muses are not fans of the "all-nighter" - you need to get up early and get to work to enjoy the help of the Muses and their friend, the dawn.

1909. Revocat aurora laborem.

[revoco: call back, recall, revive] Here the dawn does not summon the inspiration of the Muses (see previous proverb), but is instead the time we need to get back to work!

1910. Nullus praeteritas revocabit temporis horas.

The line is a hexameter; here is the pentameter line that follows: Desidia an quicquam foedius esse potest? - Can anything be more foul than laziness?

1911. Non revocare potes qui perierunt dies.

Note here that the relative pronoun qui refers to the days that have passed by, the object of revocare: Non revocare potes (dies) qui perierunt.

1912. Diem nox premit, dies noctem.

[premo: press, press upon, pursue] The words come from one of Seneca's Letters, 3.24: Nullius rei finis est, sed in orbem nexa sunt omnia, fugiunt ac sequuntur; diem nox premit, dies noctem, aestas in autumnum desinit, autumno hiems instat, quae vere compescitur; omnia sic transeunt ut revertantur.

1913. Occasio premenda.

The gerundive (feminine, agreeing with the subject, occasio) expresses the idea of necessity: You must pursue the opportunity. Compare the earlier sayings "Rapienda est occasio" and "Occasio capienda est."

1914. Culpam poena premit comes.

The word comes here is in apposition to poena - in English, we might say "The punishment follows the crime (as its) companion."

1915. Gaudii comes maeror.

[maeror: grief, sorrow, sadness] Compare the saying you saw earlier: Dolor voluptatis comes.

1916. Nascimur in maerore, vivimus in labore, morimus in dolore.

The triple rhyme of this proverb is delightful - maerore, labore, dolore - even if the message is a somber one

1917. Voluptatis comes maeror.

Compare the saying you just saw: Gaudii comes maeror. Note that the word order places the emphasis on the paradoxical pair of pleasure and sorrow, voluptas and maeror, with the less striking word - comes - in the less emphatic middle position.

1918. Voluptatem maeror sequitur.

Here is another way of expressing the relationship: grief follows (sequitur) pleasure. Note that even though sequitur has a passive ending it can still take a direct object: voluptatem.

1919. Crimen poena sequatur.

[crimen: blame, crime, offense] Note the subjunctive here, sequatur - Let the punishment follow the crime. (Crimen is a neuter noun; you might think it is the subject at first, but the subject is poena, and crimen is the object of the verb.)

1920. Mater criminum necessitas.

Compare the much more positive take on necessity which you saw earlier: Mater artium necessitas.

1921. Crimen nullum vini est, sed culpa bibentis.

The words crimen and culpa are used in tandem to organize this saying: There is no crime in the vine, but the fault is the drinker's (bibentis, participle from the verb bibo).

1922. Conscientia crimen prodit.

[prodo: reveal, bring forth, produce] Compare the saying you saw earlier: Conscientia testis.

1923. Nemo tenetur prodere seipsum.

Compare a similar legal principle: Nemo tenetur seipsum accusare.

1924. Cito se produnt mendacia.

Compare the saying you saw earlier: Mendacia non diu fallunt.

1925. Qui cito credit, cito decipitur.

[decipio: trick, trap, deceive] Compare a similar warning that you saw earlier: Qui cito credit, cito perit.

1926. Qui facile credit, facile decipitur.

While the previous saying was about trusting too quickly (cito), this saying warns about the dangers of trusting too easily (facile).

1927. Si mundus vult decipi, decipiatur.

You can also find this saying abbreviated as "mundus vult decipi," the world wants to be deceived. You can also find the statement made about some unspecified person: Qui vult decipi, decipiatur.

1928. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

Here is the same idea, now expressed with the logical "ergo."

1929. Populus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

You can find this saying invoked by John Adams in one of his letters.

1930. Species decipit.

[species: sight, appearance, beauty] Compare the English saying, "Appearances can be deceiving."

1931. Re magis quam specie.

There is an implied verb here to go with these ablative nouns - something like "(you should judge) more by the thing itself than by its appearance."

1932. Fallaces sunt rerum species.

[fallax: deceitful, misleading, false] Here species must be nominative plural, agreeing with the clearly plural adjective, fallaces.

1933. O fallax rerum copia!

[O: o, oh (exclamation)] Here is a fuller explanation of this sentiment: O fallax rerum copia quae, cum possessorem suum felicem facere deberet, infelicissimum reddit, quae nec eum dormire nec saltem unam horam in gaudio consummare permittit (from the life of Edward II by Thomas More).

1934. O fallacem hominum spem!

Here you have an example of the accusative of explanation - spem, not spes.

1935. O tempora, O mores!

It probably makes sense to consider this famous saying to be an accusative of exclamation as well. You can read about these famous words of Cicero at Wikipedia.

1936. O quam cito transit gloria mundi!

The words are from Thomas à Kempis's De Imitatione Christi, I.

1937. O fortuna, ut numquam perpetuo es data!

The words are from Terence's Hecyra. The use of "ut" here is exclamatory, like the exclamatory "quam" which you saw in the previous saying. You can also find this variant: O fortuna, numquam perpetuo es bona!

1938. O Cupido, quantus es!

[cupido: desire, passion, lust, Cupid] The exclamation is from Plautus's Mercator. The quantus is also exclamatory: "how great you are!"

1939. Honorum caeca cupido.

The words are from Lucretius: Denique avarities et honorum caeca cupido, quae miseros homines cogunt transcendere fines iuris.

1940. Alius est amor, alius cupido.

This is another one of those alius...alius saying: Love is one thing, but Cupid (lust) is another.

1941. Amor omnibus idem.

The words are from Vergil's Georgics, 3, where he is describing the feeling of love and desire that animates the whole natural world: Omne adeo genus in terris hominumque ferarumque / et genus aequoreum, pecudes pictaeque volucres, / in furias ignemque ruunt: amor omnibus idem.

1942. Amor omnibus haud idem.

[haud: not, by no means] This saying provides a counterpoint to the previous saying. Proverbs do not express absolute truths, after all - and one way to disagree with an existing saying is to negate it with the word "non" or "haud."

1943. Vir unus haud videt omnia.

Compare the saying you saw earlier: Unus vir non omnia videt.

1944. Haud vivit ullus omnibus felix modis.

Notice how the ablative phrase, omnibus...modis, wraps around the adjective that it is qualifying.

1945. Haud ulli tacuisse nocet; nocet esse locutum.

Note the perfect infinitives tacuisse and esse locutum; they are the subjects of the verb, in a nice chiastic parallel: tacuisse-nocet || nocet-esse locutum

1946. Dulce haud expertis est bellum.

[experior: test, try, experience] Here you have that war is not sweet, haud est bellum - but you can also choose instead to negate the adjective, as in this saying: Dulce bellum inexpertis.

1947. Magis experiendo, quam discendo cognoscitur.

Here you have ablative forms of the gerunds - experiendo, "by means of experience, by experiencing," and discendo, "by learning."

1948. Experto credite.

You can find various Latin authors making this claim: citations. Remember that the verb credere takes a dative complement, hence the form experto, dative.

1949. Amantes libenter credunt quod optant.

[opto: wish for, desire, choose] Of course, this gullibility is not confined to lovers, as you saw earlier: Ea credimus libenter quae cupimus.

1950. Debebis optare optima, cogitare difficillima.

The words are from a letter of Cicero; the complete sentence is: Tu tamen pro tua sapientia debebis optare optima, cogitare difficillima, ferre quaecumque erunt. Compare the English saying, "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."

Scala 40 (1951-2000)

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