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Latin Via Proverbs: Home - Previous - Next


Group 13: Latin


166. Homo bulla.

167. Ecce homo!

168. O tempora, o mores!

169. Panem et circenses.

170. Ut apes geometriam.

171. Aut rex aut asinus.

172. Aut mors aut victoria.

173. Hic sunt leones.

174. Fumus, ergo ignis.

175. Sicut vita, finis ita.

176. Nunc nox, mox lux.

177. Neque caro neque piscis est.

178. Magna civitas, magna solitudo.


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Study Guide


166. Man is a bubble. (In other words, man is a very fragile thing! This phrase made its way into Erasmus's Adagia, 2.3.48.)


167. Behold, the man! (These words are spoken by Pontius Pilate in the Gospel of John.)


168. O times, o manners! (This was a favorite phrase of the Roman politician and famed orator Cicero.)


169. Bread and circuses. (Note that these words are in the accusative: circenses is ambiguous, but the word panem is unambiguously in the accusative. The complete phrase, as found in the Roman poet Juvenal, is populus...optat panem et circenses, "the people want bread and circuses.")


170. As the bees their geometry. (Here the word geometriam is in the accusative, so you need to supply a verb based on the context: "as bees [know] their geometry," in other words, bees are able to build their hives based on an inborn understanding of geometry, even though they have not been to school.)


171. Either a king or a donkey. (You can read a brief essay about this proverb at the AudioLatinProverbs.com blog.)


172. Either death or victory. (This is another "either-or" saying, like the previous saying.)


173. There are lions here. (The Latin phrase hic is an adverb, meaning "here, in this place." This saying would be written on Roman maps to label the unexplored regions of southern Africa. There is an extant Anglo-Saxon map of the world, dating to the early 11th century (British Museum Cotton MS Tiberius B.V., 56v; online) which reads Hic abundant leones.)


174. Smoke, therefore fire.

175. As life, such its end.

176. Now night, soon light.

177. It's neither flesh nor fish.

178. A great city, a great isolation.


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