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.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

What Wikipedia will not tell you...

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori
"It is sweet and honorable to die for (one's) country."
Odes (iii 2.13)

Horace gets too much credit for this line, it has clear overtones of an earlier Greek poem by Tyrtaeus:

τεθνάμεναι γὰρ καλὸν ἐνὶ προμάχοισι πεσόντα
ἄνδρ' ἀγαθὸν περὶ ἧι πατρίδι μαρνάμενον·
Fragment 10.1-2

Seriously, I am just testing Unicode in my blog :) But the Greek here means something like, "It is a beautiful thing when a good man falls and dies fighting for his country." It may be suggested, and often is, that it is a commonplace idea that someone's death for his country is a beautiful sight. In my opinion, only frequent repetition made this idea commonplace, because there is nothing beautiful about this. Even if one feels exceedingly militaristic a healthier approach has been sugegsted by General Patton: "“No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other bastards die for their country.”

Basically, 'commonplace' does not always mean 'true'.

A diamond with a Templar Cross?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 21:09 - World History: Ancient, Medieval & Modern, Knights Templar History
Posted by Administrator ... ?rID=35962

It would have helped for the cross to be red!
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Why Latin?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 07:13 - Books, dictionaries and texts, World History: Ancient, Medieval & Modern, Latin Language, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
If anyone wishes to find out why exactly Latin maintains the position of the official language for everything that is profound and sacred, this book would be a great place to start: Francoise Waquet. Latin or the Empire of a Sign: From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries (London, 2003).

(The original French edition: Francoise Waquet. Le Latin, ou l'emploi d'un signe, XVIe-XXe siècle. (Paris: Albin Michel, 1998) This book also left me with one unanswered question. Waquet quotes Goethe's remarks concerning the great difficulty experienced by the German genius while learning Latin. The solution that he found was a book of rhymed Latin grammar. Thus far, I was unable to find out anything about that book.

Discite iustitiam moniti et non temnere divos!

I forgot to mention in the previous post that someone referred to the "Quod nutrit" motto as being Virgilian... Well, this one is truly from Virgil - A 6.620.

Discite iustitiam moniti et non temnere divos! - Having been warned, study justice and learn not to despise the gods!

This line appears over the entrance to old Law Courts (Blue Boar Street, Oxford). Here is a great article about this line:

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