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.


Know thyself!

 
Today I read a claim that the famous saying inscribed above one of the entrances into the shrine of the Delphic oracle (γνωθι σεαυτόν, "Know thyself", rendered in Latin as Nosce te ipsum) does not actually contain an invitation to introspection, but rather suggests that a man must be aware of being mortal. I think the introspection reading is a lot more fun!

Learn Latin by watching DVDs?

 
Friday, December 21, 2007, 02:06 - Learn Latin Language, Latin Language
Posted by Administrator
Yep, that's the idea. A Latin Course called Latina Christiana is technically meant to be used with a textbook, but, in my opinion, some success can be achieved from simply watching the lessons and doing homework. Church pronunciation is used throughout the program, expectedly so. There is, however, a brief explanation of the main differences that exist between Classical and Church systems of pronunciation. Students interested in reading Roman authors are encouraged to become familiar with the restored pronunciation. I have plans to write a thorough review after spending more time watching the lessons. My initial impression is that folks who home school their kids would be very appreciative of the extra assurance gained from being able to use the help of a real qualified instructor. More often than not people are trying to teach Latin without ever getting a chance to learn it. And I think that it's not that terrible, as long as proper procedures are followed!


www.memoriapress.com/descriptions/Latina1.html

MGM motto - Ars gratia artis

 
You pop in a DVD, and after a few annoying movie previews and a menu selection a lion's head shows up, surrounded with three Latin words: Ars gratia artis. What does it mean? The short answer is that it should mean 'Art for art's sake', thus being a translation of a 19th century French motto "L'art pour l'art". There are some concerns about the validity of this translation. Priamarily, Classical Latin does not have a single word that would correspond to our idea of 'art'. However, the Latin of personal and family mottos is a very mixed substance. It is not uncommon to have a motto that displays Medieval influences or bends the meanings of Latin words in some way. It's not ideal, but it happens. I would argue that a plural form of ars (artes) would have served better in the MGM logo, but I think it's passable as it is.

The words of this logo are also reminiscent of "Ars longa, vita brevis"('Art is lasting, life is short') - a translation of a phrase from Hyppocrates, certainly not from Classical times. While the Greek term 'techne' does not really mean the same as 'art' in English, the entire phrase (both in Greek and in Latin) gives us a clue that 'techne' and 'ars' can be aplied to something of perrenial value. Now, what do we have left from the Ancient world? What has maintained its value? Quite naturally, that would be art (in our sense). So, the use of 'ars' by MGM is not that outrageous.

By the way, Howard Dietz, a 19-year old recent dropout from Columbia's School of Journalism, who was asked to come up with a logo for the new movie studio, ended up having a career within MGM.

Magna Carta - Latin text

 
David Rubenstein, the founder of the Carlyle Group, bought a copy of Magna Carta at Sotheby’s for $21m.

"He admitted that he could not actually read it because he had avoided learning Latin at school — a decision he now regrets.

The 2,500-word document, written in medieval Latin, was put up for sale by the Texan software billionaire and two-time independent presidential candidate Ross Perot."

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 070798.ece

Apparently, Ross Perot could not read the Latin document either... Now, would it not be logical for Mr. Rubenstein to invest some money in education, thus assuring that future generations of Americans will be able to read this "road map to freedom"?

Here is the paragraph that apparently is of great importance:


Nullus liber homo capiatur, vel imprisonetur, aut disseisiatur, aut utlagetur, aut exuletur, aut aliquo modo destruatur, nec super eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum vel per legem terre.

http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/magnacarta.html

"No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseized or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land."


"Liber homo", of course, are the operative words here. If one is not lucky enough to be considered a free man - all bets are off, aren't they?

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