Best Quotes, Words of Wisdom and Sayings in Latin

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.


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Pulvis et umbra sumus

 
Sunday, October 10, 2010, 20:15 - Best Latin Quotes, Words of Wisdom, Proverbs and Sayings
Posted by Administrator
Pulvis et umbra sumus
Translation: we are dust and shadows.

A few days ago I caught a little bit of "Gladiator" on television. Maximus is being told by his master to take it easy, if I remember correctly. "We are only dust and shadows," adds he. Not bad for a freedman, because the phrase is actually from Horace: Carm. 4.7.16. Movie makers (with the help of their consultants, of course) like going to Rome's great poets whenever they are stuck writing a dialogue. I suppose, this beats the alternative of regurgitating all the usual cliches...

You can find more uplifting Latin phrases here:
Sad quotes and locutions in Latin

Friendship quotes (in Latin with English translations)

 
Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 19:04 - Best Latin Quotes, Words of Wisdom, Proverbs and Sayings, Latin Language
Posted by Administrator
The ancients valued friendship above romantic love and very often above family connections. It had a lot to do with how Greek and Roman society operated, as well as a whole lot of other factors. I have collected a number of Latin quotes about friendship, mostly from Classical times. Enjoy, friends!

Friendship quotes in Latin

Demotivational quote from Tacitus. Great for downsizing and similar occasions!

 
Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 01:12 - Best Latin Quotes, Words of Wisdom, Proverbs and Sayings
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Nam et ex fuso exercitu cum decimus quisque fusti feritur, etiam strenui sortiuntur. Habet aliquid ex iniquo omne magnum exemplum, quod contra singulos utilitate publica rependitur.

When in a defeated army every tenth man is felled by the club, the lot falls also on the brave. There is some injustice in every great precedent, which, though injurious to individuals, has its compensation in the public good.

Annals 14.44

E pluribus Unum Controversy

 
Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 18:08 - Best Latin Quotes, Words of Wisdom, Proverbs and Sayings, Latin Translation
Posted by Administrator
E Pluribus Unum
One out of many

I learned about this story not too long ago:

"On a special Valentine's Day celebrity edition of the show, which aired three days before the actual Valentine's day, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Jackie Llewelyn-Bowen reached the £1,000,000 question, which was "Translated from the Latin, what is the official motto of the United States?" The Bowens chose answer A, "In God We Trust," but the correct answer was actually answer B, "One Out of Many," which is the English translation for the Latin E pluribus Unum. Because they answered the £1,000,000 question incorrectly, they lost £468,000. However, the question turned out to be ambiguous, as "In God We Trust" is the legal motto for the United States; the phrase is found on many American monetary coins. Because of this, they were invited back to play again, reinstating their previously-lost £468,000 to bring them back up to £500,000. The contestants decided not to risk it this time and left with the £500,000. The first million pound question was never aired, but the second million pound question was."

(From Wikipedia's article on the UK version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire)

The interesting thing here is that the knowledge of the actual Latin phrase "E pluribus unum" was not required of the contestants! It suffices to know that a certain phrases is translated a certain way. It goes to say that whenever Classical education looses popularity the decline in game show intelligence is soon to follow


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