Sunday, August 07, 2011

Scala 59 (2901-2950)

<== Go back to Scala 58 (2851-2900)

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2901. Facit avidos nimia felicitas.

The words are from Seneca's treatise De Clementia.

2902. Avida est periculi virtus.

The adjective avida can take a genitive complement as here: avida periculi, "greedy for danger." Note also how the adjective phrase, "avida periculi" wraps around the verb. Very elegant!

2903. Oculi avidiores sunt quam venter.

Compare the saying you saw earlier: Plus oculis quam ventre devoras.

2904. Avidum esse oportet neminem, minime senem.

The adverb "minime" here is an emphatic negative adverb, something like the English phrase "least of all."

2905. Avidissimus quisque est egestosissimus.

[egestosus: indigent, needy] This saying is similar to the paradoxical proverb you saw earlier: "Quo plus habent, eo plus cupiunt."

2906. Fortunam suam quisque fingit.

[fingo: shape, form, create] Note the nice alliteration, too: fortunam-fingit.

2907. Mores cuique sui fingunt fortunam.

Here it is one's character, mores sui, which creates the luck!

2908. Sapiens ipse fingit fortunam sibi.

Unlike the previous sayings about how everyone, quisque, is the maker of their own fortune, here that privilege is reserved for the wise person: sapiens.

2909. Fictae crocodili lacrimulae.

[crocodilus: crocodilus] You can read about the proverbial crocodile tears in this Wikipedia article. Note the ironic diminutive, lacrimulae.

2910. Cito arescit lacrima.

[aresco: dry, dry up, run dry] Here are Cicero's words in full: cito enim arescit lacrima, praesertim in alienis malis.

2911. Lacrima nihil citius arescit.

This is an emphatic form of the previous saying. Now nothing drives more quickly than a tear (lacrima is now in the ablative case, for comparison).

2912. Nihil annis velocius.

[annus: year] Again, you see the comparative form of an adjective in the neuter: velocius - "Nothing is more swift than the years."

2913. Anno Domini

This Latin phrase is often abbreviated: A.D. For its use in the calendars of Europe, see this Wikipedia article.

2914. Aliud aliis annis magis convenit.

This is another one of those alius...alius proverbs, of which you have seen many examples previously, e.g. "Alia aliis conveniunt," "Alia ex aliis eveniunt," etc.

2915. anno Urbis conditae

This Latin phrase is often abbreviated: a.U.c. It is used for dating events in the history of Rome, traditionally founded in 753 B.C.E. For more information, see this Wikipedia article.

2916. Saepe dat una dies quod non evenit in anno.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is not expressed: Saepe dat una dies (hoc), quod non evenit in anno.

2917. Eunt anni more fluentis aquae.

[fluo: flow, stream] The word more here expresses the idea of a simile: more fluentis aquae, "in the manner of flowing water."

2918. Sorte fluunt celeri parta labore gravi.

Note how the ablative phrase, "sorte celeri" wraps around the verb. Meanwhile, the adjective parta is being used substantively, as the subject of the verb: parta labore gravi, "(things) produced by burdensome labor."

2919. Tarda fluit pigris, velox operantibus hora.

Note the parallel construction: tarda/velox and pigris/operantibus, with the phrase "fluit hora" shared between both.

2920. Non redit unda fluens; non redit hora ruens.

The rhyme, fluens-ruens, reveals the medieval provenance of this saying.

2921. Transit, ut unda fluens, tempus et hora ruens.

This builds on the same metaphor as the previous saying, using the phrases "unda fluens" and "hora ruens" to describe the passage of time.

2922. Tempora labuntur more fluentis aquae.

[labor-verb: slip, glide, fall] You can see this inscription on a sun-dial here: image.

2923. Utendum est aetate: cito pede labitur aetas.

The words are from Ovid's Ars Amatoria, 3.

2924. Melius est pede quam labi lingua.

You can also find the saying in this form: Satius est pedibus labi quam lingua.

2925. Lingua lapsa verum dicit.

We use the same metaphor in English: "a slip of the tongue."

2926. Danda venia lapso.

This is one of the sayings that Erasmus included in his Adagia, 3.10.59.

2927. Ut amnis, vita labitur.

[amnis: river, stream, current] You can see here how "ut" can be used to introduce a simile: ut amnis, "like a stream."

2928. In medio Tantalus amne sitit.

[Tantalus: Tantalus] The words are from Ovid's Amores, 3. For more about the legend of Tantalus, see this Wikipedia articles.

2929. Tantalus inter undas sitit.

This is another way of expressing the paradoxical punishment that Tantalus was subjected to; see previous saying.

2930. Quanto plus biberint, tanto plus sitient Parthi.

[Parthus: Parthian] In addition to being a historical foe of Rome (Wikipedia), the Parthians were a "paradoxical" people in Roman culture, as you can see in this description from Pliny's Natural History, 14. They were also famous for their proverbial "parting shot," firing arrows when they were retreating.

2931. Parthi quo plus bibunt, eo plus sitiunt.

This is another way of expressing the same paradox as in the previous saying, using "quo plus" to express the comparison, rather than "tanto plus."

2932. Omne quod rarum est, plus appetitur.

[appeto: seek, strive for, desire] You can find this sentiment expressed in one of Jerome's letters, 146.

2933. Simile appetit simile.

You can also find the idea expressed this way: Simile gaudet simili.

2934. Non erit memoria sapientis, similiter ut stulti.

[memoria: memory] Here sapientis and stulti are what you would call "objective" genitives: memoria sapientis means a "memory of the wise man," in the sense of future people remembering that wise man. The idea is that both the wise man and the fool will be forgotten; the words are from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, 2.

2935. Vinum memoriae mors.

As Vives says in his Introductio ad Sapientiam: Vinum, ut nervorum venenum, ita memoriae mors.

2936. Brevissima esto memoria iracundiae.

Note the future imperative, here in the third-person, with memoria as the subject of the imperative.

2937. Dulcis malorum praeteritorum memoria.

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

2938. Iucunda memoria est praeteritorum malorum.

You can find this sentiment expressed in Cicero's De Finibus, 2.

2939. Tantum scimus, quantum memoria tenemus.

This is clearly a proverb for the pre-Google age!

2940. Thesaurus rerum omnium memoria.

As often, the verb "est" has been omitted, so you are left with the two noun phrases, subject and predicate: Thesaurus rerum omnium | memoria (est).

2941. Memoria est thesaurus omnium rerum et custos.

This is a fuller expression of the previous saying. The words are inspired by Cicero's De Oratore, 1: Quid dicam de thesauro rerum omnium, memoria? Quae nisi custos inventis cogitatisque rebus et verbis adhibeatur, intellegimus omnia, etiam si praeclarissima fuerint in oratore, peritura.

2942. Memoria hominis fragilis est.

[fragilis: frail, fragile] You can also find the same idea expresses this way: Memoria hominum labilis est.

2943. Omnes fragiles sumus.

Note that omnes modifies the unexpressed subject of the verb: Omnes (nos) fragiles sumus.

2944. Forma bonum fragile est.

Notice here that bonum is being used substantively, much as we also use the word "good" (and also "goods") substantively in English, too.

2945. Forma bonum fragile est, aeterna sapientia lucet.

This expands on the previous idea, with the contrast between "fragile" beauty and "eternal" wisdom. The adjective aeterna modifies the subject of the verb; we would probably render that with an adverb in English: "wisdom shines eternally."

2946. Fragilis et caduca felicitas est.

[caducus: unsteady, tottering, ready to fall] You can find the words in one of the Controversiae of Seneca the Elder.

2947. Sic cuncta caduca.

Note the substantive use of the adjective cuncta: "all (things)" is a noun phrase that serves as the subject of the sentence.

2948. Praestant aeterna caducis.

As you have seen before, the verb praestant can introduce a comparative construction, with an ablative expressing the comparison: Eternal (things) are more outstanding than (things that are) teetering.

2949. Res humanae fragiles caducaeque sunt.

You can find these words in Cicero's De Amicitia.

2950. Nil manet aeternum, nihil immutabile vere est.

[immutabilis: unchanging, unalterable] The words are from the medieval poem sometimes called the Cella Alcuini.

Scala 60 (2951-3000)

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