Thursday, July 14, 2011

Scala 44 (2151-2200)

<== Go back to Scala 43 (2101-2150)

2151. Omnes homines terra et cinis.

The words are from the Biblical book of Sirach, 17.

2152. Vita mortalium cinis est et fumus.

It is not the life of mortals that is ash and smoke, but rather their death, hence the paradox of this proverb ]like other proverbs about life and death that you have already seen (e.g. Nascentes morimus, etc.).

2153. Aequat omnes cinis.

[aequo: make equal, level, compare] Cinis here now stands not for a dead person or persons, but for death itself.

2154. Mors omnia aequat.

Compare the previous saying: now death appears explicitly, mors, rather than by metonymy, with cinis symbolizing death indirectly.

2155. Mors aequabit quos pecunia separavit.

[separo: divide, separate, distinguish] Note the future tense, aequabit - death will make equal all those who previously, in life, money had separated, separavit.

2156. Separa et impera.

Compare the English saying, "Divide and conquer."

2157. A paupere et amici separantur.

[pauper: poor, impoverished, of little worth] Note the adverbial use of "et" here: "even his friends." You can see how this usage evolved - the idea is that there is some implied and unsurprising companion to the "et" but only the surprising member of the pair is expressed: (strangers) and even his friends.

2158. Omnes dies pauperis mali.

The words are from the Biblical book of Proverbs, 15.

2159. Pauper dominum, non sortem mutat.

Note the parallel structure here: Pauper dominum (mutat), non sortem mutat. This is perfectly illustrated in the famous Aesop's fable by Phaedrus about the donkey and his pack-saddles.

2160. Pauper agat caute.

The subjunctive is crucial here: agat. The poor must, should, etc. proceed with caution! He doesn't have the resources that let rich people get away with all kinds of foolishness.

2161. Mors omnes homines manet, divites et pauperes.

Note the way that manet can take a direct object, in the sense of the English word "await, wait for."

2162. Pauper est cui sua non sufficiunt.

This is one of the proverbs about the paradox of how the rich man is really poor - if, that is, he cannot be satisfied with what he has.

2163. Non qui parum habet, sed qui plus cupit, pauper est.

This amplifies on the idea of the previous saying; again, it is a paradoxical definition of poverty not as lack (qui parum habet) but as greed or avarice (qui plus cupit).

2164. Sine caritate omnis dives est pauper.

Here is another take on just what could make you say that a rich man is poor: the lack of caritas, i.e., love for his fellow human beings.

2165. Melior est puer pauper et sapiens rege sene et stulto.

Note the ablative noun phrase, rege sene et stulto, which is used to express the comparison. The words are from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, 4.

2166. Deo dat, qui pauperi dat.

This saying is a good way to remember that pauper is a third-declension noun (not second-declension like, for example, ager and puer) - pauperi shows the third-declension dative ending, while deo shows the second-declension dative.

2167. Qui dat pauperibus numquam egebit.

[egeo: lack, be without, need] Note the future tense: egebit.

2168. Alter alterius auxilio eget.

This is another one of those "alter...alter" type of sayings: One person needs the help of another!

2169. Nemo sibi satis est; eget omnis amicus amico.

This takes the idea of mutual dependency that you saw in the prevous saying into the realm of friendship. The verb egeo takes an ablative complement, so amico here is in the ablative case.

2170. Eget minus mortalis, quo minus cupit.

This picks up the same ideas as in the earlier proverbs you saw about desire ("Dives est qui nihil cupit," "Quis plurimum habet? Is qui minimum cupit," etc.).

2171. Is minimo eget mortalis, qui minimum cupit.

This takes the idea expressed in the previous saying and makes it superlative: minimo eget!

2172. Melius est enim minus egere quam plus habere.

The words are from the Regula of Saint Augustine of Hippo.

2173. Sapiens non eget.

This is a motto of the Dunbar family.

2174. Avarus semper eget.

[avarus: greedy, stingy, miser] The Latin word avarus describes exactly the condition that has been described in the preceding proverbs: he is someone with wealth but he grudges that wealth to others, and even to himself. To see that illustrated in a hilarious little Aesop's fables, check out the story of the the miser and the rotten apples.

2175. Avarus semper est pauper.

This is a paradox, of course - by outward standards, someone who is a miser does not lack money, but because he is the prisoner of his own desires, he is inwardly poor.

2176. Avarus aurum deum habet.

Remember that the word "habere" can mean something like hold in the sense of consider: The miser considers gold (to be) a god.

2177. Avaro non est vita, sed mors, longior.

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

2178. In nullum avarus bonus est, in se pessimus.

Note the parallel structure: nullum/se and bonus/pessimus.

2179. Avarus auri custos, non dominus.

This is another paradox of avarice: the miser is a special kind of servant - a "custos" - of his money, rather than its master.

2180. Non avaro divitiae, sed divitiis avarus servit.

Here the miser is explicitly the slave of his riches: divitiis servit. (The verb servio takes a dative complement: be a slave to.)

2181. Plus servant avari aurum quam se.

The previous saying was about being a slave to wealth (divitiis servit) while here the miser is a caretaker - someone who takes better care of his gold than he does of himself!

2182. Avaro acerba poena natura est sua.

This is another one of the sayings collected by Publilius Syrus. Note that the subject noun phrase, "natura...sua," wraps around the verb, with acerba poena as the predicate.

2183. Avarum irritat, non satiat pecunia.

[satio: satisfy, be enough for] This is another one of the sayings collected by Publilius Syrus, again expressing the paradox of the miser: he craves something, money, which does not satisfy him - in fact, just the opposite!

2184. Avaritiam quid potest satiare?

This question expresses the same paradox as the previous saying: you would think that money could satisfy avarice, but it does not - so, what then possibly could ever satisfy a miser...?

2185. Avarum excitant, non satiant divitiae.

[excito: arouse, provoke, excite, irritate] Compare the saying you saw earlier: Avarum irritat, non satiat pecunia. The sense of "excitant" here is negative: instead of promoting transquility and satisfaction, the riches only prod and poke.

2186. Paupertas excitat artes.

Here the word excitat does not have such negative connotations; this time, it has the sense of stimulating or enlivening. Compare the English saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention."

2187. Dolor excitat iram.

Albertus Stadensis describes Achilles this way, where his grief for Patroclus arouses his anger against Hector: Heros, iratus, etenim dolor excitat iram, / Hectora vibrato fortius ense petit.

2188. Ira brevis insania.

[insania: insanity, madness] This proverb makes good use of the power of alliteration: ira-insania.

2189. Ira initium insaniae.

This saying features a triple alliteration!

2190. Optimum est aliena frui insania.

[fruor: enjoy, profit by] Notice how the ablative phrase, aliena insania, wraps around the infinitive verb frui, which takes a genitive complement. The infinitive is the subject of the verb, and optimum is the predicate (infinitives are regarded as neuter nouns).

2191. Fruere hora.

Note the imperative form of the deponent verb, fruere: enjoy!

2192. Fruere fortuna tua.

As you saw in the previous saying (fruere hora), the verb fruor takes an ablative complement: fortuna tua.

2193. In die bona, fruere bonis.

The words are from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, 7.

2194. Fruere die dum licet.

[licet: it is allowed, it is permitted] The impersonal licet can be rendered with a generalized "you" in English: Enjoy the day while you can.

2195. Utere dum liceat.

Note the subjunctive here: liceat. This give the statement a hypothetical quality - whenever you can, whenever you might be able. This is an inscription from a sundial, so the implication is enjoy the day, the time, the hour, the moment, etc.

2196. Cui licitus est finis, etiam licent media.

Compare the English saying, ""The ends justify the means." Notice also here how the verb licet is not being used impersonally: finis is the subject of the perfect licitus est (hence the masculine form) and media is the subject of licent (hence the plural form). Note also the dative complement: Cui licitus est finis, (ei) etiam licent media.

2197. Aliis si licet, tibi non licet.

Here you can see that licet takes a dative complement: tibi non licet, "you are not allowed" (to do it - whatever it might be).

2198. Peccare certe licet nemini.

This saying shows how licet can take a dative complement (nemini) and an infinitive (peccare). The words are from Cicero's Paradoxa, 3.

2199. Bis in bello peccare non licet.

Here licet has an infinitive complement, peccare, but without a dative. You can also find this saying with the dative: Peccare bis bello cuiquam non licet, "no one is allowed..."

2200. Nil magis amat cupiditas, quam quod non licet.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is omitted: quam (hoc) quod non licet.

Scala 45 (2201-2250)

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