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Latin Via Proverbs: Home - Previous - Next


Group 15: Latin


192. Amara est veritas.

193. Grata brevitas.

194. Semper timidum scelus.

195. Carcer numquam pulcher.

196. Amor caecus est.

197. Antiquus amor cancer est.

198. Dura domina cupiditas.

199. Magna vis est necessitas.

200. Summum malum est dolor.

201. Summum ius summa iniuria.

202. Optimum medicamentum quies.

203. Mutum est pictura poema.

204. Cupido atque ira consultores pessimi.

205. Virgo serena, pia, munda et immaculata.





Study Guide


192. The truth is bitter. (This phrase can be found in a sermon of Saint Augustine. The full form of this phrase is quamdiu blanditur iniquitas et dulcis est iniquitas, amara est veritas, "while iniquity is enticing and iniquity is sweet, the truth is bitter.")


193. Brevity is welcome. (In other words "short and sweet." A fuller form of this phrase is Grata brevitas, grata novitas, "Welcome is brevity, welcome is novelty.")


194. Crime is always fearful. (The phrase can be found in the Roman poet Statius.)


195. Prison is never pretty. (We get the English word "incarcerate" from the Latin carcer.)


196. Love is blind. (A more specific form of this proverb is caecus amor prolis, "love of one's offspring is blind," i.e., parents adore their children regardless of their faults.)


197. An old love is a crab. (The phrase is found in the Roman author Petronius. The idea seems to be that a long-standing love is like a crab because it doesn't go forward, as crabs were notorious for going sideways instead of straight, or else because an old love grabs hold like a crab and won't let go.)


198. Passion is a harsh mistress. (This saying is adapted from Cicero, and in its fuller form the saying says quam dura est domina, quam imperiosa, quam vehemens, "how harsh a mistress, how imperious, how overbearing.")


199. Necessity is a mighty force. (The Latin word vis is an irregular noun. There is not a genitive singular form that you can memorize, and instead you need to just memorize the forms that are found: vis, nominative singular; vi, dative and ablative singular; vim, accusative singular; vires, nominative and accusative plural; and virium, genitive plural.)


200. Pain is the greatest evil. (The Latin word dolor covers a wide range of meanings: pain, grief, suffering, etc. The phrase is adapted from Cicero.)


201. Extreme justice is extreme injustice. (Taken to extremes, law enforcement becomes a form of injustice. Notice the play on words in the Latin, as in the English: iniuria is the opposite (in-) or ius. The phrase is cited in Cicero.)


202. Rest is the best medicine. (Compare a similar saying in Latin Via Proverbs Group 2, Optima medicina temperantia est, "The best medicine is moderation.")


203. A picture is a mute poem. (This is something like the English saying "a picture is worth a thousand words." You have to use the gender clues to sort out the subject and predicate here: mutum goes with poema because they are both neuter, while the noun pictura is feminine.)


204. Desire and anger are the worst advisors. (You can read a brief essay about this proverb at the AudioLatinProverbs.com blog.)


205. Fair virgin, pious, pure and immaculate. (You can read a brief essay about this proverb at the AudioLatinProverbs.com blog.)


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