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.


Sundial mottos: Sic transit gloria mundi

 
Sic transit gloria mundi - Thus passes the glory of this world

I was not aware that there is a very specialized kind of mottos, namely the sundial mottos. I have located a book with a great deal of these phrases dedicated to time, its passing, and other, rather melancholic observations:

"The Book of Sun-dials", by Alfred Gatty and Eleanor Lloyd


Lumen me regit vos umbra - The light guides me, the shadow you

Non sine lumine - Not without light

Obrepit non intellecta senectus - Old age creeps on unawares

Quae lenta accedit quam velox praeterit hora - The hour that comes slowly, how swiftly doth it pass


More to come in due time :)

P.S. As promised:
Mottos for Sundials

Love conquers all -- The imporatance of learning Latin

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

 
I should probably explain the etymology of the word rebus and then provide a better idea of why this site is called "In Rebus".

According to A Dictionary of English Etymology
by Hensleigh Wedgwood, John Christopher Atkinson:

Rebus. A riddle where the meaning is indicated by things (Lat. rebus} represented in pictures, the syllables forming the names of the things represented having to be grouped in a different manner. Thus the picture of a fool on his knees with a horn at his mouth is to be read in Fr. fol Ó genoux trompe (tromper, to blow a horn), but read in a different manner it gives "fol age nous trompe".ŚCot. Rebuses in Heraldry are such coats as represent the name by things, as three castles for Castleton.

It's an old dictionary, but the information holds true. If I recall correctly, this use of the Latin Ablative of the word res ('thing', 'object', 'matter') dates back to the 16th century or thereabouts.

Conversely, "in rebus" refers to the medieval philosophical notion of universal ideas (universalia) being present in "things". My reasoning is that given this name this site can provide information on anything whatsoever. Which is not to say that at one point I will not make some kind of actual rebus or even a rebus generator.

Masonic Knights Templar rings' motto

 
I have observed that there is considerable interest regarding the looks of the Knights Templar rings. Unfortunately, my research has only extended to the Masonic Templars, who are in no way connected to the actual military order. However, having found a reference to a Latin motto I felt obliged to make a note of this design.

In hoc signo vinces - In this sign thou shall conquer.

This excerpt is taken from:
Rings for the Finger, from the Earlieast Known Times to the Present. by George F. Kunz:

In rings of the Knights Templar the design is usually a cross passed through a crown, with the motto of Constantine the Great: In hoc Signo vinces. The cross will be of black enamel (occasionally of red enamel) and the crown is gold. A special ring for this order has a Blue Lodge emblem on one shoulder and the Chapter emblem on the other, and is arranged for a diamond to be set in the centre of the bezel. On a fourteenth degree ring ( Lodge of Perfection) appears the initial Hebrew letter ( yod) of the Tetragrammaton, or Ineffable Name, now approximately sounded Yahweh. Sometimes the symbols of more than one degree appear on the ring, one example bearing those of the fourteenth, sixteenth, eighteenth, thirtieth and thirty-second; this is one of the Consistory rings, as those for thirty-second degree Masons are denominated. These usually have the double eagle on the bezel.


By the way, if you have your own message you want to engrave on a ring it's very easy to do. You can even choose IN HOC SIGNO VINCES!

Now, not too long ago another phrase was suggested as a Templar motto: Veritas vos liberabit". Unfortunately, it appears to have no direct connection with the Templars.

Knights Templar Vault - Veritas vos liberabit

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