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.

Latin word for death

Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 15:48 - Latin Words - Meanings and Definitions
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As all highly advanced and well developed languages, Latin has a good number of words that can be rendered as "death" in a modern English translation. In certain cases specific Latin words convey additional meanings, while some only create a small variation in style. However, in a vast majority of situations the most generic Latin word for "death" works well: mors. If you are unfamiliar with Latin, it is important to know that depending on context this word will appear somewhat differently: mortis, mortem. morte and so on. Latin words simply have more grammatical forms that words in modern English. The following list, I hope, is a fairly comprehensive run-down of most words that can also be used, according to the intent and style of the text. Note that for each word there are two forms given, as it is also the practice in most dictionaries. The first form is the Nominative case, in which a noun would be used for purposes of a simple statement. If you need to find a phrase about death, try looking at this list of sad phrases in Latin.

mors, mortis - death; corpse; annihilation;
fatum, fati - utterance, oracle; fate, destiny; natural term of life; doom, death, calamity;
funus, funeris - burial, funeral; funeral rites; ruin; corpse; death;
nex, necis - death; murder;
letum, leti - death, ruin, annihilation; death and destruction;
exitium, exiti(i) - destruction, ruin; death; mischief;
obitus, obitus - death (naturally from old age), visit
excessus, excessus - death (a rather polite and formal way of saying it), departure

Fratricide - did it start with Cicero?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 19:15 - Latin Derivatives, Roots, Word Origins, Latin Words - Meanings and Definitions
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No, Cicero did not kill his brother, which, of course, is implied by the meaning of the word fratricide (Latin fratricida actually means the person who committed the crime rather than the crime itself). However, we may owe it largely to Cicero that words such as 'fratricide', 'matricide' and 'sororicide' (ever heard of this one?) actually exist. The word 'paricida' was often used in Classical Latin indiscriminately to denote someone who murdered a close relative - it must have been a rare crime. Cicero in "De Domo Sua" uses all three words 'matricida,' 'fratricida,' 'sororicida' in once sentence, thus ensuring that countless generations of future Latinists are aware of this fine distinction:

quid? de me quod tulisse te dicis, patricida, fratricida, sororicida, nonne extra ordinem tulisti?

What! what sort of law is it that you say that you passed about me, you parricide, you fratricide, you murderer of your sister; did you not pass that out of the regular course?

Philosophic terminology in Latin

Sunday, February 8, 2009, 01:41 - Latin Translation, Latin Words - Meanings and Definitions, Philosophy
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I have published a first pass of a new word list: Philosophical terminology in Latin. It would is a nearly impossible task to come up with a comprehensive dictionary of Latin terms used in any particular setting. Philosophical Latin is highly technical and individual philosophers often adapted existing terms for their own needs. Still, it is my hope that this wordlist will be useful to someone just starting to read philosophic works in the original Latin. Most of these terms were used in medieval texts, because Ancient Rome never matched Greece as a center of philosophic studies. Roman philosophy was rather eclectic, even at its best (Lucretius, for example). This list of terms (over 500 entries!) generally only includes individual words and notions, leaving aside common sayings such as "Cogito ergo sum" etc. I am considering making a separate list of such phrases.

Philosophy: Latin terms with translations.

Semper fidelis and beyond. Latin phrases that contain the word "semper"

A classic 20th century Russian novel by Ilf and Petrov entitled "The Twelve Chairs" contains a verbal exchange, highly humorous, in my opinion, between a con artist trying to raise money, supposedly for the needs of the anti-Bolshevik underground, and a small town fellow, sympathetic to the cause:

"What's your political credo?"
"Always!" repliied Polesov delightedly.

I do not remember if this scene is present in Mel Brooks 1970 adaptation of the novel. Regardless, the point is that the word "always" (semper in Latin) possesses a very high level of appeal when it comes to indicating one's allegiance to something.

Acceptissima semper // munera sunt, auctor quae pretiosa facit - Those gifts are always the most acceptable which our love for the donor makes precious (Ovid)

Conlige suspectos semper habitos - Round up the usual suspects

Cotidie damnatur qui semper timet - The man who is constantly in fear is every day condemned. (Syrus)

Credula vitam spes fovet et melius cras fore semper dicit - Credulous hope supports our life, and always says that tomorrow will be better. (Tibullus)

Crudelius est quam mori semper timere mortem - It is more cruel to always fear death than to die. (Seneca)

De duobus malis, minus est semper eligendum - Of two evils, the lesser must always be chosen (Thomas a Kempis)

Fama semper vivat - May his/her fame last forever

Hoc natura est insitum, ut quem timueris, hunc semper oderis - It's an innate thing to always hate the one we've learnt to fear

Non semper erit aestas - It will not always be summer (be prepared for hard times)

Rosa rubicundior, lilio candidior, omnibus formosior, semper in te glorior - Redder than the rose, whiter than the lilies, fairer than everything, I will always have glory in thee

Semper fidelis - Always faithful

Semper idem - Always the same thing. (Cicero)

Semper inops quicumque cupit - Whoever desires is always poor. (Claudian)

Semper letteris mandate - Always get it in writing!

Semper paratus - Always prepared

Semper superne nitens - Always striving upwards

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