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.


Poetic license...

 
Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 13:23 - Fine Arts, Poetry, Literature, Music
Posted by Administrator
I fear that I am about to become very busy, so I am trying to spend the last days of freedom posting a few things, that I will otherwise neglect to share.

This little quatrain was discovered by me in Allusion and Intertext: Dynamics of Appropriation in Roman Poetry by Stephen Hinds. I think that these lines are absolutely beautiful. Many will, of course, disagree.

Statius wrote down the line, then scratched it out,
And scratched his head, and sat a while in doubt,
But wrote it down again a little later,
And said, 'Not bad, though, for a second-rater.'


(Louis MacKay)

Sundial mottos: Sic transit gloria mundi

 
Sic transit gloria mundi - Thus passes the glory of this world

I was not aware that there is a very specialized kind of mottos, namely the sundial mottos. I have located a book with a great deal of these phrases dedicated to time, its passing, and other, rather melancholic observations:

"The Book of Sun-dials", by Alfred Gatty and Eleanor Lloyd


Lumen me regit vos umbra - The light guides me, the shadow you

Non sine lumine - Not without light

Obrepit non intellecta senectus - Old age creeps on unawares

Quae lenta accedit quam velox praeterit hora - The hour that comes slowly, how swiftly doth it pass


More to come in due time :)

P.S. As promised:
Mottos for Sundials

Love conquers all -- The imporatance of learning Latin

 
Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 10:34 - Learn Latin Language, Latin Translation, Popular Latin Phrases, Mottos, Slogans
Posted by Administrator
Omnia vincit amor - Love conquers all

In one of the last episodes of the Showtime Original Series 'The Tudors'(Season One) there is a following exchange between, if I recall correctly, Henry VIII and his courtier (I only convey the part that pertains to this discussion):

C. Omnia vincit amor!
H. Ah, yes! Everybody is won by love!

I would not vouchsafe for the precision of the quote, but the gist is there. What's happening? Henry VIII clearly misinterprets the first half of Virgil's famous line from Eclogue 10:

Omnia vincit Amor: et nos cedamus Amori.

Yes, 'Love conquers all' is the correct translation. However, this 'all' is Neuter. Thus the meaning of the phrase is more philosophical: 'Love conquers all things, everything in existence'. Henry interprets it in a very trite sense: 'All people are subject to love'. Sure, he was a real expert in matters of love, but I won't believe that he was not a good enough Latinist to see a very simple grammatical point.

The moral is, it is ok to quote translations of Latin phrases. But one should not modify these translations, because the resulting paraphrase can become untrue to the original!

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Rebus

 
I should probably explain the etymology of the word rebus and then provide a better idea of why this site is called "In Rebus".

According to A Dictionary of English Etymology
by Hensleigh Wedgwood, John Christopher Atkinson:

Rebus. A riddle where the meaning is indicated by things (Lat. rebus} represented in pictures, the syllables forming the names of the things represented having to be grouped in a different manner. Thus the picture of a fool on his knees with a horn at his mouth is to be read in Fr. fol Ó genoux trompe (tromper, to blow a horn), but read in a different manner it gives "fol age nous trompe".ŚCot. Rebuses in Heraldry are such coats as represent the name by things, as three castles for Castleton.

It's an old dictionary, but the information holds true. If I recall correctly, this use of the Latin Ablative of the word res ('thing', 'object', 'matter') dates back to the 16th century or thereabouts.

Conversely, "in rebus" refers to the medieval philosophical notion of universal ideas (universalia) being present in "things". My reasoning is that given this name this site can provide information on anything whatsoever. Which is not to say that at one point I will not make some kind of actual rebus or even a rebus generator.

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