Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


Carpe diem

 
Carpe diem
Seize the day


Once again, Macdonnel in "A dictionary of quotations, in most frequent use" gives us a preciously worded summation regarding the meaning of 'carpe diem' Carpe diem quam minime credula postero. Lat. Hor. "Enjoy the present day, as distrusting that which is to follow." -- This is one of the maxims of the Epicurean school, which recommended, but no doubt unwisely, the immediate enjoyment of sensual pleasures in preference to remote speculation.

It should be noted that the "Carpe diem" motto is occasionally found as a sundial motto. I somewhat disapprove of that, because in my opinion sundial mottos should be a little more somber in their mood, and they are better off reflecting on eternity, other than the pleasures of the fleeting moment.

Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit - Called or not called, God will be present

 
Wednesday, November 21, 2007, 14:12 - Latin Language, Latin Translation, Popular Latin Phrases, Mottos, Slogans
Posted by Administrator
Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit
Called or not called, God will be present


I think this phrase is from Erasmus, influenced by Horaces:

Tantalum atque Tantali
genus coercet, hic levare functum
pauperem laboribus
vocatus atque non vocatus audit.

Proud Tantalus and the son of Tantalus he
holdeth fast, and, summoned or
unsummoned, lends an ear to free the poor
man when his toils are o'er.

Most interestingly, K.G. Jung adopted the "Vocatus" motto for his house:

http://www.yarzheit.com/heavensregister/jung.htm

Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin

 
Wednesday, November 21, 2007, 13:48 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Latin Language, Latin Translation, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin (Hardcover)
by Leo F. Stelten
ISBN-10: 1565631315

At $20 this dictionary is something you just have to have if you ever deal with Church Latin. Stelten has very carefully chosen the right entries in order to facilitate understanding of ecclesiastical texts. On numerous occasions, in need of the right translation, I looked in Niermeyer, Du Cange, Blaise, Forcellini - only to find exactly what I needed in this compact dictionary.

Status quo - 'the state in which'

 
Status quo

The Wikipedia article begins as follows:

In 19th-century diplomatic Latin, the original sentence was in statu quo res erant ante bellum "the state things were before the war". This gave rise to the shorter form status quo ante bellum "the state that it was before the war", indicating the withdrawal of enemy troops and restoration of power to prewar leadership, as well as other variations, such as status quo itself.

The phrase actually appears in various sources prior to the 19th century, including this book: Macdonnel, David Evans. A dictionary of quotations, in most frequent use. Taken from the Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, and Italian languages; translated into English. London, 1797:

Status quo. Lat. -- "The state in which", or status quo ante bellum. -- The state in which both parties were before the war. This is used in speaking of belligerent powers when they agree, as a preliminary to peace, to restore their conquests, to return to that condition in which the parties respectively stood before the commencement of hostilities.


So, it appears that the phrase was well known before the 19th century. This makes sense, because in the 19th century French, not Latin, was the language of diplomacy. If I have to guess, it must have been early 18th century that gave birth to this phrase. Also, there is no reason to believe that the original phrase had the ablative, 'in statu', as Wiki suggests. I don't know if I will bother to make any changes on Wikipedia, however. For now, let the status quo remain. :)
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