Monday, August 20, 2012

Second-Declension Nouns: Antiqua sunt optima.

Here are some proverbs with second-declension nouns and adjectives (see the Index for more proverb groups):

Antiqua sunt optima.
Note that the adjective is being used substantively: antiqua, "the ancient (things)."
antiquus -a -um: ancient, old-time, former
optimus -a -um: best, excellent; adv. optimē
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist

Amor caecus.
Compare the English saying, Love is blind.
amor -ōris m.: love
caecus -a -um: blind, unseeing; dark, obscure

Humana consilia vana.
cōnsilium -ī n.: plan; council, group of advisors
hūmānus -a -um: human
vanus -a -um: empty; false, deceitful

In vino verum.
This is a variation on the famous saying "In vino veritas." Here the neuter singular, verum, is being used substantively to mean "truth." You can also find the saying in this form: Latet in vino verum, "The truth lurks in the wine."
in: in, on (+ abl.); into, onto (+ acc)
vērus -a -um: true; vērē, truly
vīnum -ī n.: vine, wine

Nullum otium servis.
nūllus -a -um: not any, no one
otium -iī n.: leisure
servus -ī m.: slave

Otium post negotium.
This proverb depends on the wordplay of otium and negotium - which is itself "not-otium," nec-otium.
negōtium -ī n.: business
otium -iī n.: leisure
post: after (adv. and prep. +acc.)

Post bellum auxilium.
Of course, coming to someone's help after the war is no help at all.
auxilium -ī n.: support, assistance; (pl.) auxiliary forces
bellum -ī n.: war
post: after (adv. and prep. +acc.)

Post proelium praemium.
This is one of those proverbs which depends for its charm on the word play - the closest I can get is "fight" and "prize" in English, but that sound play is not nearly as good as "proelium" and "praemium" is in the Latin.
post: after (adv. and prep. +acc.)
praemium -iī n.: bounty, reward
proelium -ī n.: battle

Unus amicorum animus.
The genitive expresses the idea of possession: There is one mind of friends = Friends have one mind.
amīcus -a -um: friendly; (as subst.) friend
animus -ī m.: spirit, mind
ūnus -a -um: one

Ad astra!
For the many uses of "ad astra," see Wikipedia.
ad: to, up to, towards (+acc.)
astrum -ī n.: star; constellation

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