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Latin Via Proverbs: Home - Previous - Next


Group 76: Latin


1001. Diligentia ditat.

1002. Scientia nobilitat.

1003. Amat victoria curam.

1004. Sola pecunia regnat.

1005. Fama volat.

1006. Haud semper errat fama.

1007. Mutat via longa puellas.

1008. Praestat cautela quam medela.

1009. Praestat sero quam numquam.

1010. Ignorantia non excusat.

1011. Iniuria non excusat iniuriam.

1012. Aquila non captat muscas.

1013. Aquila non generat columbam.

1014. Non volat in buccas assa columba tuas.

1015. Scintilla etiam exigua in tenebris micat.





Study Guide


1001. Conscientious effort enriches. (This was a widely known Latin saying, commonly used as a family motto.)


1002. Knowledge makes ennobles. (The Latin noun scientia is from the Latin verb scire, "to know," and it is also the root of the English word "science.")


1003. Victory loves careful planning. (In other words, if you plan carefully, victory will be attracted to your cause.)


1004. Money alone rules. (This comes from a Latin phrase found in the Roman author Petronius: Quid faciunt leges ubi sola pecunia regnat?, "What can laws do when money alone rules?")


1005. Rumor flies. (The saying derives from the description of rumor in Vergil's Aeneid III. )


1006. Rumor does not always err. (Although you probably learned the Latin word non, the word haud is also a very common Latin word meaning "not." The saying is reported in Tacitus's Agricola.)


1007. A long journey makes girls change. (Note that this does not mean if the girls go on a long journey, it changes them. Rather, if a man goes on a long journey and is away from the girls, in his absence, they behave differently. Roman soldiers worried a great deal about what their women were up to back home! The saying is found in the Roman poet Propertius.)


1008. Caution is better than a cure. (In other words, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Notice the lovely rhyme in Latin.)


1009. Late is better than never. (This saying is also found in the form potius sero quam numquam, "rather late than never." )


1010. Ignorance does not excuse. (Much like we say in English, "ignorance of the law is no excuse.")


1011. Wrong does not excuse wrong. (In other words, two wrongs don't make a right.)


1012. An eagle does not capture flies. (In other words, the eagle does not sweat the small stuff.)


1013. An eagle does not give birth to a dove. (For the Romans, just as for us, the eagle was a symbol of might and power, while the dove was a symbol of peace.)


1014. A roast pigeon does not fly into your mouth. (In other words: money doesn't grow on trees. The Latin expression in buccas literally means "into your cheeks," in the sense of into your mouth and filling your cheeks. Notice the word order here: in buccas tuas is a single phrase, even though the words are separated from one another in the sentence. The word order is partly determined here by the metrical rhythm, since this saying is a Latin pentameter, the second line of an elegiac couplet.)


1015. A spark, even though it is small, shines in the shadows. (From the Latin word scintilla, "spark," we get the word "scintillating," in the sense of bright, sparkling, etc. I really like this proverb: the darkness may be large, but even a tiny spark still gives off its light - the shadows cannot put a stop to it.)


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