Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scala 41 (2001-2050)

<== Go back to Scala 40 (1951-2000)

2001. Verum est, quod pro salute fit, mendacium.

This is one of the sayings collected by Publilius Syrus. It expresses an elegantly paradoxical idea: verum est mendacium - with the important caveat about what kind of lie exactly: quod pro salute fit.

2002. Nulla salus bello.

The words are from Vergil's Aeneid, 11: nulla salus bello, pacem te poscimus omnes, Turne.

2003. Salus publica, salus mea.

[publicus: public, common, people's] You can see this motto on an 18th-century Swedish coin here: image.

2004. pro bono publico

This Latin phrase is often abbreviated to "pro bono." For the use of this phrase in English, see this Wikipedia article.

2005. Non sibi, sed bono publico.

The unambiguously dative sibi lets you know that bono publico must also be dative.

2006. Salus rei publicae suprema lex.

Instead of populus or patria, now you have the well-being of the "res publica" as the highest law.

2007. Salus publica suprema lex esto.

Yet another variation on the same idea, this time with the adjective publica: let public well-being be the highest law (esto is third-person imperative).

2008. Pessima res publica, plurimae leges.

[plurimus: very many, the most] Note the nice alliteration: pessimae / plurimae.

2009. Corruptissima res publica plurimae leges.

This is the form of the expression in Tacitus's Annals, 3.

2010. Dominus videt plurimum in rebus suis.

This is from one of the fables of Phaedrus, the story of the stag in the stable.

2011. Unus nihil, duo plurimum possunt.

Note the parallel structure: unus/duo and nihil/plurimum, with the verb serving for both.

2012. Ut quam plurimis prosim.

The verb prosim takes a dative complement, plurimis, with the quam expanding on that: "as many (people) as possible."

2013. Salutem plurimam dicit.

This standard phrase in Roman letter-writing was often abbreviated: S.P.D., while the less fulsome "salutem dicit" would be abbreviated S.D.

2014. Semper discendo plurima fio senex.

Here you have a gerund in the ablative, discendo - by learning, with plurima as the direct object of that gerund.

2015. Quis plurimum habet? Is qui minimum cupit.

Proverbs love paradoxes, as here with the interplay between plurimum habere and minimum cupere.

2016. Cibus non qui plurimus, sed qui suavissimus.

In other words: no more all-you-can-eat at the Golden Corral! Get something really tasty instead.

2017. Divitiae addunt amicos plurimos.

[addo: add, bring, increase] This is from the Biblical book of Proverbs, 19: divitiae addunt amicos plurimos a paupere autem et hii quos habuit separantur.

2018. Fortuna non addit sapientiam.

In fact, it can be just the opposite, as you saw in this earlier saying: Stultum facit Fortuna, quem vult perdere.

2019. Ne ad malum addas malum.

Note the nice alliteration with the ad malum prepositional phrase and the compound verb, addas: ne ad malum ad-das malum.

2020. Malo malum non addendum.

This is another way of stating the idea, this time with a gerundive, neuter singular, agreeing with the subject: malum. You can also see here where we got the word "addendum" in English!

2021. Ignem igni ne addas.

[ignis: fire] Compare the English saying, "adding fire to fire." This is one of the Latin sayings collected by Erasmus in his Adagia, 1.2.8.

2022. Ne ignem ad ignem.

This is an abbreviated form of the previous saying, with the verb implied but not stated; the "ne" lets you know that you are dealing with a negative command, even without the verb.

2023. Ignis aurum probat.

The words are from Seneca's treatise De Providentia, 5: Ignis aurum probat, miseria fortes viros.

2024. Igne quid utilius?

The words are from Ovid's Tristia, 2.1. Note that quid is neuter, hence the neuter comparative form of the adjective: utilius.

2025. Ignis numquam dicit: sufficit.

The words are from the Biblical book of Proverbs, 30.

2026. Invidia, tamquam ignis, summa petit.

[tamquam: like, just as, as if] Notice how "tamquam" is a combination of the two correlative adverbs: tam...quam... So, instead of saying, "invidia tam summa petit, quam ignis (summa petit)," you can use tamquam instead: Invidia, tamquam ignis, summa petit.

2027. Legere et non intellegere est tamquam non legere.

In Latin, there is a nice word play between legere and intellegere which is impossible to capture in English!

2028. Gloria virtutem tamquam umbra sequitur.

The words are from Cicero's Tusculan Disputations, 1.

2029. Ama tamquam osurus, oderis tamquam amaturus.

Note the use of the perfect subjunctive, oderis, in order to express a command. Since odi is found only in the perfect forms, it is not possible to make an imperative for odi as you can for amo.

2030. Amicus est tamquam alter idem.

This sentiment can be found in Cicero's treatise, De Amicitia.

2031. Ubi amici, ibi sunt opes.

[ops: power, help, resources, wealth] This is in contrast to the more cynical idea that wealth gives you friends (e.g. Amicos pecuniae faciunt). Here the idea is that friends are a kind of wealth in and of themselves, a resource you can draw on, opes.

2032. Ubi opes, ibi amici.

Note that this expresses the more cynical idea, in contrast to the preceding proverb - this time, the idea is that where there are riches, then there are friends.

2033. Sapiens opes sibi secum habet semper suas.

Here you see that the wise man has opes of his own, and that they are always with him. Compare the saying you saw earlier: Omnia bona mecum sunt. This particular saying is associated with the Greek wise man Bias, who explained why he did not need to try to salvage any material possessions when fleeing from the destruction of his native, Priene - a wise man has all he needs with him. The story is told in Cicero's Paradoxa.

2034. Opes parit industria.

Note that opes is the object of the verb, not the subject.

2035. Sine ope divina nihil valemus.

[divinus: divine, belonging to the gods] This is one of the sayings collected by Erasmus in his Adages, 3.9.54.

2036. Quid est in homine ratione divinius?

Note that quid is neuter, hence the neuter form of the comparative adjective: divinius, with ratione as the ablative expressing the comparison - "more godlike than the power of reason."

2037. Divinum dare, humanum accipere.

[humanus: human] The infinitives, used here as nouns, agree with the neuter adjectives divinum and humanum.

2038. In rebus humanis, nihil firmum.

The indeclinable neuter nihil is treated as a neuter noun, hence the neuter adjective: nihil (est) firmum.

2039. Domina rerum humanarum Fortuna.

[domina: mistress, lady, ruler] As often, the verb is implied by not expressed: Domina rerum humanarum (est) Fortuna.

2040. Dura domina cupiditas.

Note the nice alliteration in "dura domina."

2041. Dura domina iracundia.

The reason "iracundia" gets to be a domina and not a dominus is because iracundia is a feminine noun.

2042. Domina omnium et regina ratio.

Here you have not just the domina (fem. of dominus) but also regina (fem. of rex). The words are from Cicero's Tusculan Disputations, 2.

2043. Ratio contra vim parum valet.

[parum: a little, very little, too little] Note the contrast between this and the preceding statement: reason may be the queen and mistress of all things, but she cannot stand up to brute force.

2044. Non multa parum, sed pauca multum legenda.

The gerundive expresses the idea of a command here, and the neuter plural form agrees with multa and with pauca: non multa parum (legenda), "Don't read many things superficially," but pauca multum legenda, "but read a few things deeply."

2045. Fac bene, dic parum, si te vis reddere carum.

The rhyme, parum-carum, reveals the medieval origins of this saying.

2046. Naturae satis est parum, cupiditati nihil.

Note the parallel structure: naturae/cupiditati and parum/nihil. While the form of naturae is ambiguous the parallel cupiditati helps identify naturae as dative.

2047. Parum sufficit.

This is a motto of the Barrow family.

2048. Magis offendit nimium quam parum.

[offendo: hit, strike against, offend] The words are from Cicero: etsi enim suus cuique modus est, tamen magis offendit nimium quam parum.

2049. Qui festinus est pedibus, offendet.

[festinus: quick, fast moving, in a hurry] Note the future tense: offendet. (It's all a matter of vowels: present indicative, offendit; subjunctive, offendat; future, offendet.)

2050. Festinus intellege, tardus loquere.

Note that both intellege and loquere are imperatives - intellege from intellegere and loquere from the deponent verb loqui. Note also that the adjectives, festus and tardus, modify the subjects of the imperatives. If you were to rephrase this in the plural, it would be: Festini intellegite, tardi loquimini.

Scala 42 (2051-2100)

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