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.


Magna Carta - Latin text

 
David Rubenstein, the founder of the Carlyle Group, bought a copy of Magna Carta at Sotheby’s for $21m.

"He admitted that he could not actually read it because he had avoided learning Latin at school — a decision he now regrets.

The 2,500-word document, written in medieval Latin, was put up for sale by the Texan software billionaire and two-time independent presidential candidate Ross Perot."

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 070798.ece

Apparently, Ross Perot could not read the Latin document either... Now, would it not be logical for Mr. Rubenstein to invest some money in education, thus assuring that future generations of Americans will be able to read this "road map to freedom"?

Here is the paragraph that apparently is of great importance:


Nullus liber homo capiatur, vel imprisonetur, aut disseisiatur, aut utlagetur, aut exuletur, aut aliquo modo destruatur, nec super eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum vel per legem terre.

http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/magnacarta.html

"No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseized or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land."


"Liber homo", of course, are the operative words here. If one is not lucky enough to be considered a free man - all bets are off, aren't they?

Funny life mottos

 
"The heraldry of nature or, instructions for the King at Arms: comprising, the arms, supporters, crests, and mottos, both in Latin and English"

A satirical book thusly titled, was published in London in 1785. You probably have to be British and live 200 years ago to fully appreciate it. But some mottos used in it are quite whimsical.

Si recte facias, rex eris - If you do it right, you will become a king.
Neque tangunt levia - Little things don't move me.
Nec juvenes intactos patitur avaritia - Avarice does not leave untouch even the young ones.
Populus me sibilat - Everybody hisses at me.
Sopor occupat artus - Slumber seized my limbs.
Tacere tutum est - It is safe to be silent.
Nil admirari - To be surprised at nothing.
Quo senior, eo immortalitati propinquior - The older, the closer to eternity.
Utinam - Would it had been!
Quod dixi, dixi - I said what I said
Non diu morabor - I shall not linger long.
Vix audeo sperare - I hardly dare to hope.
Adigis me, pater, ad insaniam - Father, you make me insane.
Semper avarus eget - The miser is ever poor.

Facilis descensus Averno

 
Talibus orabat dictis arasque tenebat,
cum sic orsa loqui vates: 'sate sanguine divom,
Tros Anchisiade, facilis descensus Averno
(noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis);
set revocare gradum superasque evadere ad auras,
hoc opus, hic labor est
.

In essence, the descent to the Lower World is easy, coming back is a hard task - Virgil, A. 6.

It is well known that this phrase is anachronistically quoted in HBO's Rome. I was, however, surprised to hear it in a disintegrating piece of Disney's magic called "Pirates of the Caribbean. At world's end." Really, what could be the significance of this quote coming from a pirate? This reminds me of this charming passage from Thomas Love Peacock's 'Nightmare Abbey':

MR ASTERIAS

Five years afterwards, some fishermen near Cadiz found in their nets a triton, or sea man; they spoke to him in several languages---

THE REVEREND MR LARYNX

They were very learned fishermen.

MR HILARY

They had the gift of tongues by especial favour of their brother fisherman, Saint Peter.



Indeed, could it be that pirates vicariously possess the same gift of tongues and a well-cultivated taste for literature?

Ablative of Default

 
Thursday, December 6, 2007, 18:10 - Learn Latin Language, Latin Language
Posted by Administrator
I've been told that some undergrad students at Harvard (I must assume the same can occur elsewhere) use the term 'Ablative of Default', when dealing with instances of Ablative that were not so easily recognizable. I can see how this can happen, well into the second hour of the class when all Ablatives are beginning to look alike :) Still, I would not recommend using this as a legitimate answer on a test.

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