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.


Per aspera ad astra

 
Wednesday, October 31, 2007, 14:39 - Latin Language, Popular Latin Phrases, Mottos, Slogans
Posted by Administrator
Per aspera ad astra (sometimes 'per ardua ad astra' etc.) - Through hardships to the stars. I wonder how this motto has been overlooked by UFO enthusiasts. Really, what possible use would anyone prior to the 20th century have for a phrase so vividly referring to space exploration? Did Virgil's 'sic itur ad astra' ('in such a manner one goes to the stars') imply the Romans' familiarity with interstellar voyages? Or how about continuous use of the verb 'to fly' when referring to merely visiting one's friends, as found in Cicero? Also, note that in Latin 'altus' means both 'high' and 'deep'. It's as if for the Ancient Romans top and bottom were interchangeable, just like they are in space!

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