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Latin Via Proverbs: Home - Previous - Next


Group 3: Latin


22. Ardua ad gloriam via.

23. Ad gloriam per spinas.

24. Post spinas palma.

25. Ex luna scientia.

26. Copia ex industria.

27. Falsa est fiducia formae.

28. Forma raro cum sapientia.

29. Satis eloquentiae, sapientiae parum.

30. In maxima potentia minima licentia.

31. Historia magistra vitae.

32. Philosophia vitae magistra.

33. Rixa rixae causa est.

34. Aurora Musis amica est.

35. Cicada cicadae cara, formicae formica.

36. Divitiae bona ancilla, pessima domina.

37. Anxia divitiarum cura.

38. Nulla rosa sine spinis.

39. Urticae proxima saepe rosa est.

40. Semper odoriferis proxima spina rosis.





Study Guide


22. The road to glory is arduous. (Notice that you need to be careful where to separate the subject of the sentence, which comes at the end, from the predicate adjective, which comes first in the sentence. The Latin preposition ad takes the accusative case.)


23. To glory through the thorns! (Notice that there is no verb stated here, but you can imagine a variety of implied verbs: "let's go," "we must go," "I'll go," etc. Both the prepositions ad and per take the accusative case. This saying also serves as a motto of the Thorn family, based on a nice play on words.)


24. After thorns, the palm. (Again, the verb is implied: "comes" or "will be" would fit nicely. The Latin preposition post takes the accusative case. The palm here refers to the palm of victory.)


25. From the moon, knowledge. (You can read a brief essay about this proverb at the AudioLatinProverbs.com blog.)


26. Abundance as a result of effort. (Again, you need an implied verb, something like "comes" or "is produced," etc. Be careful with the Latin word copia; it means "copiousness, abundance," not copy.)


27. Trust in physical beauty is unreliable. (The word formae is in the dative case. The word "trust" in Latin takes the dative case; we say "trust in" something, but Latin is more like "trust to," as in the English phrase "giving credit to" something.)


28. Rarely is there beauty with wisdom. (You can read a brief essay about this proverb at the AudioLatinProverbs.com blog.)


29. Plenty of eloquence, a smidgen of wisdom. (You can read a brief essay about this proverb at the AudioLatinProverbs.com blog.)


30. In the greatest power is the least license. (The preposition in takes the ablative case.)


31. History is the teacher of life. (You can read a brief essay about this proverb at the AudioLatinProverbs.com blog.)


32. Philosophy is the teacher of life. (You can read a brief essay about this proverb at the AudioLatinProverbs.com blog.)


33. One quarrel is the cause of another. (Compare the similar, and even more sobering, proverb: Ex bellis bella seruntur, "From wars wars are sown." Read more about that one at Latin Audio Proverbs.)


34. Dawn is a friend to the Muses. (The Romans were great fans of getting up extremely early and setting to work at once. This is advice I give to my students as well, although most of them are more likely to "burn the midnight oil" than to arise at dawn and see what inspiration strikes them in the early part of the day.)


35. The cricket is dear to the cricket, the ant to the ant. (This is a variant on the idea of "birds of a feather flock together," contrasting the fellow-love felt by one cricket for another, and one ant for another. Meanwhile, the unfortunate lack of fellow-feeling between the ant and the cricket is made famous by the Aesopic fable of The Ant and The Cricket.)


36. Wealth is a good maid servant but the worst possible mistress. (The Latin word for "mistress," domina, is the word used for someone in charge, someone who "dominates," and so the female owner of a slave; the masculine form of domina is dominus, "master." The idea is that you want wealth to be your slave, not your master. The word wealth is feminine, hence the use of the feminine domina. This phrase can be found in Francis Bacon's Advancement of Learning 6.3. Unfortunately, I do not see this work at The Latin Library online, but they do have some other works by Bacon avaialble!)


37. Concern for wealth is anxiety-producing. (The Latin word cura, "care" takes the genitive case: "care of" something, rather "care for" something, as the English idiom has it. This saying forms part of the "emblem tradition," and you can see a 1612 illustration online, prominently featuring Diogenes the Cynic happily inside his barrel.)


38. There is no rose without thorns. (The preposition sine takes the ablative. This is a typical double negative in Latin, which is logically a positive; in other words, "Every rose has its thorns.")


39. The rose is often close to the stinging nettle. (Notice the word order here: you have the noun rosa as the subject of the sentence at the end, and the predicate of the sentence, the adjectival phrase urticae proxima comes at the beginning of the sentence. You will find this line in Ovid's Remedia Amoris.) Urticae proxima saepe rosa est.


40. Always the thorn is near the sweet-smelling roses. (This proverb has an even more intricate, even poetic, word order, with the subject of the sentence, spina plopped down into the middle of the adjectival phrase which is the predicate: odoriferis proxima rosis. The noun-adjective phrase odoriferis...rosis poetically "wraps" around the main part of the sentence.)


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