Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

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Love conquers all -- The imporatance of learning Latin

 
Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 10:34 - Learn Latin Language, Latin Translation, Popular Latin Phrases, Mottos, Slogans
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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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