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.


An acrostic in Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica

 
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 14:26 - Latin Language, Unsolved Mysteries and Myths, Poetry, Literature, Music
Posted by Administrator
Haec ubi non ulla iuvenes formidine moti
accipiunt (dulce et dura sic pergere mente), 175
terga sequi properosque iubet coniungere gressus.
litore in extremo spelunca apparuit ingens
arboribus super et dorso contecta minanti,
non quae dona deum, non quae trahat aetheris ignem,
infelix domus et sonitu tremebunda profundi. 180
at varii pro rupe metus: hinc trunca rotatis
bracchia rapta viris strictoque immortua caestu
ossaque taetra situ <et> capitum maestissimus ordo
per piceas, quibus adverso sub vulnere nulla
iam facies nec nomen erat; media ipsius arma 185
sacra metu[que] magnique aris imposta parentis.


Val. Fl. 4

The acrostic reads LANIABO. However, in older editions line 184 used be rendered as "respicias." So, we would have had LANIABOR, which is a lot more interesting. Did the acrostic contain a self-fulfilling prophesy about the transmission of the text?

David Beckham's new tattoo. A Latin phrase, of course!

 
This just in! The international soccer sensation and tattoo icon David Beckham added a new Latin phrase to his repertoire: De integro. "Telegraph" translates "De Integro" as "Again from the start". Fair enough. What's more interesting, the footballer's lovely wife Victoria followed suit with the exact copy of her husband's new motto.

The phrase is also reminiscent of Eclogue 4:

magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... ham118.xml

See also:

Beckham's tattoo

Latin and Greek Courses by Assimil (the "sans peine" series) -- a review

 
Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 16:37 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Ancient Greek Language, Learn Latin Language, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
Got a chance to have a look at these:

Assimil - Le Latin Sans Peine
Assimil - Le Grec Ancien Sans Peine

One needs to realize that the Greek and Latin courses are strikingly different. I believe, the Latin one is older. It resembles other Assimil courses designed for modern languages. Le Latin Sans Peine operates under a whimsical assumption that a somewhere a country exists where one frequently hears conversations such as this:

- Quanti costat locusta?
- Decem francis!
- Nimio constat.

If you happen to concur with the writers of this textbook, and also happen to know where knowledge of this kind of Latin might serve you well, good luck and bon voyage. Even as the course progresses you do not see much in terms of real Classical Latin that you perhaps wish to read one day. This is the same problem that exists the Rosetta Stone Latin course exhibits. At least in Assimil there is enough wit and solid grammar.

The Greek Assimil course is more in tune with the needs of Classical education. The audio tracks sound almost eerily authentic. I am no expert, but it sure seems that if you want to learn Attic pronunciation this is one of the best ways to do it.

As far as I know, these two courses are not available in English. It would be great to see them translated, especially the Greek one. And even if you don't know French, but are serious about learning Ancient Greek listening to the audio tracks would probably be most beneficial.

See also: Rosetta Stone review

Fidelity of the people of Cornwall

 
An inscription on a sun-dial at the church porch of St. Levan, Cornwall:

SlCUT UMBRA TRANSEUNT DIES. As the shadow pass the days.

The church is rich in old oak, and also
possesses a fragmentary copy of the letter of thanks
written by King Charles I. to his people of Cornwall
for their fidelity, dated from his camp at Sudeley Castle,
1643, and ordered to be printed, published, and
read in every church or chapel in Cornwall, and to be
kept for ever as a record of their king's gratitude.

(From The Book of Sun-dials)

I like how the letter thanking the people of Cornwall for their fidelity was ordered to be read. Surely, many were punished for not properly heeding its warm tone, or worse, not attending the special gathering of loyal subjects. And if they somehow forget about the King's gratitude, the letter should conveniently remind them of it.


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