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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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

Of arms and the man I sing - a trifle of numerology

 
The number of books in Homer's "Iliad": 24.
The number of books in Homer's "Odyssey": 24

The number of words in the opening passage of Virgil's Aeneid, the poem justly believed to incorporate the themes of Homer's two great epic works: 48 (24+24).


Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit
litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
vi superum, saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram,
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem
inferretque deos Latio; genus unde Latinum
Albanique patres atque altae moenia Romae.


See also:
Roman numerals in numerology

Esse Quam Videri: To be, rather than to seem (North Carolina State Motto)

 
Esse quam videri - To be, rather than to seem

This state motto might as well get the prize for Classical authenticity. Without trying to come up with something unique and of questionable value, North Carolinians went straight to the source of nearly everything that is good in Latin prose: Cicero. Right? Actually, the phrase is a little bit out of context: Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt ("De amicitia", 98). Cicero does not speak of being per se, he speaks about being endowed with virtue. If you are have left is "esse quam videri" it becomes rather unclear: to be what? to seem to be what?

Still, a good motto. North Carolina spent a long time coming up with it, being the only one of the original 13 states without an official motto all the way until 1893!

Knights Templar motto

 
Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam! - Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto your name grant glory!

When I decided to see how often this phrase from Psalm 113 was used in the Middle Ages I discovered that it really was not all that popular until Berndard de Clairvaux started using in his sermons and writings. He apparently really liked this short prayer that eventually became the motto of the Knights Templar, being displayed on their black and white banner, the Bauseant.

Another Church writer who favored this phrase was Augustine. I would not be surprised if Bernard was heavily influenced by his works, but I am really don't know theology well enough to be a judge of this.

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