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Latin Via Proverbs: Home - Previous - Next


Group 14: Latin


179. Fames optimus est coquus.

180. Fames optimum condimentum.

181. Venter optimum horologium.

182. Paupertas durum onus.

183. Paupertas ingeniosa.

184. Tempus optima medicina.

185. Tempus est optimus iudex.

186. Mors ultima ratio.

187. Mors ultimum supplicium.

188. Aequa mors est.

189. Sacri sunt Manes.

190. Mediocritas optima est.

191. Homo divinum animal.






Study Guide


179. Hunger is the best cook. (You can read a brief essay about this proverb at the AudioLatinProverbs.com blog.)


180. Hunger is the best seasoning. (Compare the English saying, "hunger is the best sauce.")


181. The stomach is the best time-keeper. (In other words, time may seem to move quickly or slowly depending on what you are doing, but your stomach always knows when it is dinnertime.)


182. Poverty is a difficult burden. (You can tell that the adjective durum goes with the noun onus because both are neuter; paupertas, however, is a feminine noun. A fuller form of this saying is Paupertas durum onus miseris mortalibus, "Poverty is a heavy burden for wretched mortals.")


183. Poverty is inventive. (In other words, if you are lacking in money, you have to be inventive to survive.)


184. Time is the best medicine. (There is a similar English saying: "Time heals all wounds." Compare a similar Latin saying, Optima medicina temperantia est, "The best medicine is moderation," which is included in Latin Via Proverbs Group 2.)


185. Time is the best judge. (You can read a brief essay about this proverb at the AudioLatinProverbs.com blog.)


186. Death is the final reckoning. (The adjective ultima, grammatically speaking, could go with either mors or with ratio, as both are feminine nouns, but the sense of the saying tells you that ultimate does belong with ratio.)


187. Death is the most extreme punishment. (The Latin word supplicium literally means a "bowing down" or "bending over," and criminals were beheaded in a kneeling position.)


188. Death is impartial. (This line is found in Seneca's play, The Trojan Women. As you can see, the Latin word order is quite different from what you would expect in English, where the verb est would be used to distinguish between subject and predicate, instead of coming at the end of the sentence as it does here.)


189. The spirits of the dead are holy. (You can read more about the Roman Manes, "the good ones," the spirits of the dead ancestors, at wikipedia.)


190. Average is best. (This phrase certainly sounds strange in English, since we have come to associate "average" and "mediocrity" with failure or triviality, but in Latin mediocritas referred to the "golden mean," meaning not too much and not too little. The saying can be found in Cicero's De Officiis.)


191. Man is a godly animal. (The idea is that the human species stands between the divine realm on the one hand, and the animal realm. Man is like the other animals, but has spiritual gifts that are divine.)


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