Talk:Latin proverbs

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search

What does this mean?[edit]

Nullius in verba.

Lectitare humanum est.

– 80.202.213.243 18:50, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Nullius in verba means "On the words of no one"; it's probably a short for Horace's Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri. ~ DanielTom (talk) 01:48, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

People links[edit]

Well, I think it woud be better if links to persons pointed to pages on Wikiquote and only these pages to Wikipedia articles.
Kpjas 15:27 11 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I agree. Nanobug 03:40, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Duplication with Wikipedia[edit]

There seems a duplication of effort with this page as there is a page with the same content on Wikipedia. Perhaps the page on Wikipedia could redirect here as a list of phrases isn't really encyclopedic anyway. Any comments? Angela 19:53 24 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, I think it's the role of wikiquote to separate citations and proverbs of real articles. Wikipedia should only link to this page... Koxinga

Wikifying quotes[edit]

I have wikified quotes starting with A. Please help: pick any letter and wikify it. The whole alphabet is too much for any one person. Nanobug 03:41, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Shouldn't the Latin part be in italics? Angela 18:46, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Why? Is that a general rule to put all non-english quotations in italics? Nanobug 03:11, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)
You should put all foreign words in italics, not just all foreign quotes. See [1] and [2]. Angela 11:30, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Memento Mori[edit]

The quote that says "Memento Mori" wasn´t only used by those Friars, but also when a conquering Consul of the Roman Republic returned to Rome, he had to say that, to remember that he didn´t ruled. I think it should be corrected. Excuse me for the errors, but i don´t speak english very well.

Acta est fabula[edit]

It isn't sure these were realy Octavian's last words, but it is said that he added to them: Plaudite! (meaning: applaud!)

Ain't this also something that was said at the end of theater plays? -- Genesis 20:23, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Argumentum ad hominem[edit]

An "argumentum ad hominem" is said when a speaker attacked s.o. not on his actions or words but on his personnality. Ex.: when Cicero says that Catilina "hands young man the torch" (meaning he led them to brothels) he is using an argumentum ad hominem, he isn't talking about his politics.


There are a few problems with this entry (which isn't a translation at all, but a definition):

Translation: "To confuse an opponent using his own words or acts"
  1. The definition is a misunderstanding of the entry for ad hominem in the TLFI
  2. The expression ad hominem doesn't seem to be classical or even medieval. (It's not in Cicero or Quintilian, and not in any of the maybe 50-60 medieval texts I snarfed up from website X.) The OED has 1748 as its first occurrence in English text, the TLFI gives 1623 for its first appearance in French. I have no idea where it came from originally.
  3. Sometime in the 20th century the meaning changed completely. Fowler (1926) still has the old meaning for argumentum ad hominem, namely, an argument "calculated to appeal to the individual addressed more than to impartial reason". My 1933 OED has something similar.
  4. The new meaning is an argument which impugns the character, competence or motives of the opponent rather than staying in point. But this changes the meaning of ad hominem from "directed at the onlooker (or his interests)" to "directed toward the opponent (or his character)". This is the force of ad hominem, and I suppose we'd have to call it Modern Latin, if it's good Latin, but it's a stretch imho.
  5. It also raises the question of whether these little articles all have to be the same format.

Don't worry, the article won't be this long and boring.

Et si omnes ego non[edit]

Does anyone know where this might have come from, and how come it isn't listed here "Et si omnes ego non" 19:11 20 Jan 2006 (UTC)


Personal motto of the surviving member of the assasination attempt on Hitler's life.

http://news.myway.com/odd/article/id/384200%7Coddlyenough%7C02-09-2004::09:12%7Creuters.html


Actually, it's from the Holy Bible Mark 14:29 which reads: Petrus autem ait ei et si omnes scandalizati fuerint sed non ego (But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.")

The irony is, Petrus DID betray Jesus! Before the cock cried 2 times (as the Lord had prophecized), Petrus said three times "I am not with Jesus".

De mortuis nihil nisi bene [sic][edit]

Shouldn't this be De mortuis nihil nisi bonum? The cites turned up by Google are several hundred to one in favor of bonum. And bonum makes a lot more sense syntactically than bene. Bonum only requires that you supply dic, which is easy to do, and leaves you with two obviously parallel substantives: nihil and bonum. On the other hand, bene (an adverb) is not parallel to nihil (a noun), nihil nisi x (x being a substantive of some sort) is formulaic, and benedicere is rare as an intransitive verb imho, requiring something more (but what?)

I would say bene is an actual mistake and not just a variant.

I'm not conversant with Latin, so I can't review the syntactic argument, but your Google check, argument, and the lack of a source in the existing quote suggest to me that you be bold and change it yourself. If anyone disagrees, they can present counterarguments here. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 10:23, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Bene is correct, your translation likely is not. The fact that bene is an adverb is commonly ignored in popular translations. The proverb does not want us to speak only good things about dead persons, but in a good way (whatever we deem worthy of saying), meaning in a civilized and friendly manner, which allows for criticism.Ive read this in severel books on latin.
It was apparently written by Diogenes Laertius and it is quoted on the Web at least in both versions:

www.lateinservice.de/dicta/inhalt/litterad.htm and others have "Bene"; while home.comcast.net/~michael.rhodes/dicta.htm and a very few others have "bonum" It seems "bonum" is more popular in English whereas "Bene" is more popular in other languages citing the Latin version of the proverb. The original is Greek however, and it is attributed by Diogenes Laertius to Chilon of Sparta. There are apparently variant Latin translations of the Greek. Mewnews 01:53, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

It is particularly disturbing that people who, as they themselves admit, do not know Latin, theoretize about how or what should be said in Latin. It is even more disturbing that they encourage others to re-write the Ancients. It is obvious that the English speaking people are the furthest removed from Latin influence and culturedness, therefore, English speakers should humble themselves first and do not dare to attempt to give recommendations to Continental Europeans: ROMA LOCUTA, CAUSA FINITA. Whatever is in usage on the Continent of Europe, that is Latin, and so is DE MORTUIS NIL NISI BENE. And absolutely in opposition to the typically disrespectful Anglo-mind, this especially does not mean that you are free to criticize the dead. It is a horrendous habit in angloism, to hold funeral speeches full of curses of the dead they bury. This is the furthest removed from European thinking where the dead are sacred; so much so, that in popular European tradition anyone who speaks the least amount of anything negative about a dead person, calls down upon himself quite a curse. MEMENTO MORI.
In the book "Latin proverbs" (Refranero Latino, http://books.google.com/books?id=xll5lkkwNI0C), by Jesús Cantera and Jesús Cantera Ortiz de Urbina, page 57, it is said that "bene" is the original form, and "bonum" a variant.

Cum factor rerum privaret[edit]

I've moved the following question from this article to its talk page, as it is not proper to post questions in an article:

Cum factor rerum privaret semine clerum ad votum satanae successit turba nepotum. "When the creator of things has deprived the clergy of progeny the multitude of nephews and nieces has succeeded to implement the design of Satan" Would you kindly find out the author of this quotation? -- 59.94.113.174, posted to article at 16:52, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Jeff Q (talk) 22:47, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Opinion exists that the form bene is the correct expression, and thus the proverb means About the dead nothing but TRUE. In this context true means something correct, relevant, without alterations. The ... nothing but GOOD interpretation thus proves to be absolutely false. (If it was the meaning, the Latin expression should be ... bonum as others pointed out before.)


This is all crap what is written above, the author has no competence or knowledge at all in Latin so that I won't start to go into the details.

Example: Somebody who is dealing with linguistic matters should at least have heard about the existence of adverbs... Hans-Werner Link Germany

ae --> æ[edit]

Hi, just wanted to say that I changed all "ae" to "æ" in my edit. Cheers.

Hi, just wanted to say that I changed them all back. The æ ligature was standard practice in writing Latin only in the late middle ages and early modern period. Classical and contemporary practice is to write the letters separately. Even if they look cooler joined together. Cheers.

Proposed Changes[edit]

I'm in a hurry so I can't correct those myself. In letter "P" there's a nonsensical entry about cheese and in "S" about underwear. Also in "S" there's a latin translation of "May the Force be with you" which I also think ought to be deleted. What's next, "To boldly go where no man has gone before" in latin?

More importantly, should there be included in this page Greek proverbs, which have been translated (like most of them) in Latin? Obviously many Greek texts were saved courtesy or the Romans (in Latin), but then we could also rewrite this section in Arabic for the same reason.

Any editor can remove material they feel doesn't belong in any article. (I certainly agree with you on Star Wars references and the like.) Editors can also add other material they think should be in an article. (I'm not sure I agree with you on Greek proverbs translated to Latin, except possibly those that have achieved notoriety in their Latin form, but I'm not a frequent editor of this article, so take my opinion with a mica of sal salis.) Any content disputes can be thrased out on this page.
A larger issue that might help guide the content of this article is the near-total lack of proper sources for these "proverbs", allowing anyone to make one up, which is not what Wikiquote purports to provide. Might I suggest that we start deleting any proverbs that sound suspiciously like they were made up by amused individuals, starting with the "Mock" section? I'll do my tiny bit toward this effort to source one of those neo-Latin proverbs. "Carpe noctum" is the central theme of Dean Koontz's work Seize the Night, so I'd leave it in, but it leads to a rash of mock-Latin sayings within the book that are appropriately omitted from this article. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:45, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Do we think it would be reasonable as a guideline that any phrase in the Mock section needs a reference to the source for the latin quote? Many of them now have their sources identified. My only concern with this rule is what will happen to things like Veni Vidi Visa, which is definitely in the common vernacular, but has no identifiable source. Maybe it'd be enough to say "common proverb, original attribution unknown"? That might help to easily identify the made-up ones. If you can't Google it and get a significant number of hits across a broad base (not just one person's friends), it's likely a common proverb. --136.182.158.153 19:41, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I took the liberty to erase the nonsensical entries. 66.108.232.88

For God's sake: "nom de guerre" and "nom de plume" are FRENCH!

Bis dat, qui cito dat[edit]

  • Bis dat, qui cito dat.
Probably some random vandalism that no one caught earlier. I've added a proper translation and a source. Thank you for calling attention to this. (By the way, please sign your talk-page postings.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:10, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
He who gives fast, gives double. ;) Annah
Give and give again. ;) JC —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 123.100.78.90 (talkcontribs) 00.34, 25 november 2013 (UTC)

Ex Africa semper aliquid novi[edit]

Before posting this, I need some context, which I can't seem to find on the web. Apparently Pliny the Elder wrote "Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre", quoting it as a Greek saying. It is popularly rendered as "ex africa semper aliquid novi", but I remember hearing somewhere that Aristotle said it derisively about some traveller's story, meaning that he didn't believe it. Anyone have any substantiation? --196.207.32.38 15:56, 14 September 2006 (UTC) Slashme]

I don't know about the Aristotle reference, but the actual quote and reference for Pliny, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, are

Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre. Africa always brings [us] something new. (often quoted as "Ex Africa semper aliquid novi [Always something new out of Africa]") Historia Naturalis bk. 8, sect. 42

"Pliny the Elder" The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Ed. Elizabeth Knowles. Oxford University Press, 2003. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Warwickshire Libraries. 26 February 2007 <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t91.e1979> NotSaussure 10:40, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

The Sixth Edition of the Oxford also states that Pliny the Elder's context was hybridization of animals, citing historia Naturalis as noted above.


Correct citation is Pliny's Historia Naturalis Book 8 section *17*, not 42. Citation here. Interestingly he cites the phrase as a Greek saying, so he is the recorder and not the originator.


This is from the same guy who added the citation immediately above. I've done a little more digging and come up with better references. First of all, the correct Pliny citation is Book VII, Section xvii, paragraph 42 - hence the confusion. Proof here, in the Latin text.

Furthermore, it seems that Pliny was copying or at least referring to Aristotle. In the essay here we read that Aristotle in his Historia Animalium wrote "it has passed into a proverb that Libya is always producing something new" - and in the same context as Pliny, namely the supposed hybridisation of African animals, which makes it pretty likely that Pliny was basing his account on the Greek's. The correct citation of the Aristotle line is The History of Animals, Book VII, Section 28 - here - ctrl-f it. (That's Cresswell's 1878 translation; D`Arcy Wentworth's rendering from 1910, here, has the sprightly: 'Always something fresh in Libya', which could make for an excellent headline these days.)

Primum Ego Tum Ego Deinde Ego[edit]

so wich emperor said this then?

Dunno, but am I correct in translating it as 'ME! ME! ME!'?

Almost. It is "First Me! Then Me! Finally Me!" NotSaussure 10:43, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Ars Gratia Artis[edit]

It may be MGM's slogan, but it's bad Latin. It should be Ars Gratia Arte, with Arte in the ablative. ~ Italo Svevo

Not so: it's art for the sake of art, which is why the gentive 'artis' is present. --RJC


ars gratia artis is certainly correct grammatically. However "ars artis gratia" is better stylistically, since gratia usually follows the word it governs.

We who are about to die salute you[edit]

According to [3], this was not actually said by gladiators.

Love conquers all[edit]

Is it "Omnia vincit amor" or "w:Amor vincit omnia" (you wrote both for some reason)?

Vergil (or, if you prefer, Virgil) wrote "Omnia vincit amor", but the quote is often given with the subject first, which is more natural for English speakers. The beauty of Latin is that both are grammatically correct. "Amor", from its form, must be the subject (since as object it would be "amorem"), regardless of the order in which the words appear. —This unsigned comment is by 148.87.1.171 (talkcontribs) .

I know it only as "omnia vincit amor" (and I am not a native speaker, just for your information). "amor vincit omnia" sounds too clumsy for me, the beauty of rhythm there breaks up somehow ... A side note like "originally .... it is however often cited as ..." would be nice for readers. --Aphaia 20:00, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

"Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris"[edit]

(If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar)

This is not a classical proverb; rather, it comes from Henry Beard's excellent book of modern Latin tags, "Latin for All Occasions" (Linguam Latinam pro omnibus occasionibus.)

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.[edit]

  • Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
    • Translation: "Anything said in Latin sounds profound."

I translated this proverb with my dictionary and I think altum = videtur = profound, but sounds isn't in latin. Google found proverb Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur. so I think this would be OK. Sonatur = sounds according to my dictionary. I changed it on the main page.

This is wrong. Altum = profound, videtur = seems (literally, is seen [as]). I don't know if Latin had a specific word for the particular use of "sounds" required by this proverb (i.e., "has a sound that makes it seem"), but I checked both an online Lewis & Short and my own copy of the Oxford Latin Dictionary and found no evidence that "sonatur" ("is sounded") can be used this way. (The aural equivalent to "videtur" would in any case be "auditur" ("is heard [as]"), but again, there's no evidence that native speakers ever gave it this meaning.) I'm changing it back.
I'm not convinced that "altum" can be interpreted as meaning "profound." Literally it means "high," while "profound" is a synonym for "deep." A better word might be "exalted" or "lofty."
"Altus" can mean either "high" or "deep"; it literally refers to a vast vertical distance, regardless of direction. Vergil uses the word often to describe the sea in The Aeneid.

Proverbs?[edit]

With all of the things in here like ad hominem and whatnot, as much as it's interesting, I really think much of this is in the wrong place. If not absent from Wikiquote altogether, things like common borrowings and phrases like "non sequitur," "ab imo pectore," that weren't really said by anyone and are certainly not "proverbs." Even things like "acta est fabula" aren't really things you'd find in other "proverbs" sections. Shouldn't this page only have proverbs? "Alter ipse amicus," "Virtus, non copia vincint," and things of that nature are fine here, but there is a lot of fluff as I see it... StryfeX 06:21, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

As it stands, it's probably too long either way and things do need to be removed, e.g. "Slavewoman, make me pancakes!", the things I mentioned before, and... for now, I'll leave in the city mottoes, "Ad Astra Per Ardua" etc, but ... I really don't think they're proverbs either. Maybe that is more than "A mari usque ad mare." Anyway, I won't act on that yet. StryfeX 22:09, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

City mottos should be removed. They are not proverbs, they were not spoken when latin was truely alive, and they are not interesting. They are not quotes. They will appear on the cities' and groups' wiki pages, but not a list of latin proverbs. 83.70.170.48 13:10, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Translation of "beatus"[edit]

In all the proverbs "beatus" is translated as "lucky", which I deem incorrect. The word "felix" is what I'd consider the latin equivalent of "lucky". "beatus" is much nearer to "happy", "blessed" and "fortunate" in meaning. --Chrkl 21:15, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

On a closer look: There are many instances of questionable translations in this collection! Is there a template to mark it as needing review? What sources have been used? --Chrkl 21:25, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Mock Latin[edit]

How many of the quotes in the "Mock Latin" section are notable? Wikiquote isn't a resource for writing down something clever you once heard, or made up yourself. The section could do with a drastic culling. 83.70.225.239 10:36, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Leupold[edit]

pretty cool stuff here thank you!!!!!!!

Worst wikipage I have seen...[edit]

I ran into this page while doing some research. It is full of mistakes and the majority of these do not classify as 'proverbs'.

'Noctis Lucis Caelum' = 'light of the night sky'? Really? I only deleted that one because I happened to scroll there. There are others. This page requires a major overhaul. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 24.57.131.129 (talk) 23:20, 14 March 2011

Yes, most all of the "proverbs" pages are in desperate need of serious attention. Want to help? ~ Ningauble 14:21, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree that this page needs reworking. I just happened to note "Abyssus abyssum invocat", which to anyone who knows the Bible is a quotation from the Vulgate of Ps 42. The text had 'Literally, "Hell invokes Hell"; more commonly known as, "One misdeed precedes another"; or more colloquially known as, "Two wrongs do not make a right".' Not even close. Grommel 01:15, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

"Let God sort them out" non-proverb[edit]

This quote removed by Spannerjam may not belong in Latin proverbs, but we should find someplace else to list it:

  • Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.
    • Translation: "Kill them all. The Lord will know His own."
    • Variation: "Kill them all. Let God sort them out."
    • Supposed statement by Abbot Arnold Amaury before the massacre of Béziers during the Albigensian Crusade, recorded 30 years later, according to Caesar of Heisterbach.
    • Cited in The Perfect Heresy by Stephen O'Shea

~ Robin Lionheart (talk) 23:46, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Hmm. Maybe Justice? Or, with a couple related quotes, one might start a stub on Indiscrimination. ~ Ningauble (talk) 16:40, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Possibly natural truth? Is there context? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.118.66.123 (talkcontribs) 04:43, 5 December 2013‎ (UTC)

Unsourced Latin proverbs[edit]

A[edit]

  • Aut viam inveniam aut faciam
    • Translation: "I'll either find a way or make one."
    • English equivalent: Where there's a will, there's a way.
    • Stone, J. R. (2005). The Routledge Dictionary of Latin Quotations: The Illiterati's Guide to Latin Maxims, Mottoes, Proverbs and Sayings, Routledge. p. 351

N[edit]

  • Ne Nuntium Necare
    • Translation: "Don't kill the messaenger".

P[edit]

  • Post mortem nihil est, ipsaque mors nihil.
    • Translation: "After death there´s nothing, because death itself is nothing."

you missed: 'alea iacta est'[edit]

you missed to add 'alea iacta est', coming from Caesar, meaning 'the die has been cast'. Regards;—The preceding unsigned comment was added by ‎205.250.125.94 (talkcontribs) 18:09, 11 Februari 2013 (UTC)

Please consider adding it yourself, if you believe it to be a proverb! Wikiquote is after all the free quote compendium that anyone can edit. --Spannerjam (talk) 19:32, 11 February 2013 (UTC)