Thursday, November 19, 2009

Round-Up: November 19

Here is a round-up of today's blog posts - and for previous posts, check out the Bestiaria Latina Blog archives. You can keep up with the latest posts by using the RSS feed, or you might prefer to subscribe by email.

HODIE: ante diem tertium decimum Kalendas Decembres. You can add a Roman calendar as a widget in your blog or webpage, or display it as a Google Calendar: here's how.

TODAY'S POEM: Here is today's little poem, from the Poetry Widget. The lines today come again from the collection of distichs attributed to "Cato," with a word list at as usual:
Quod vile est, carum, quod carum, vile putato:
Sic tu nec cupidus nec avarus nosceris ulli.
English: Regard what is worthless as if it were precious, and what is precious as if it were worthless: in this way no one will think you either greedy or selfish." What a great little paradoxical saying! If you can count what is worthless as if it were precious, you will be satisfied with your possessions, no matter how worthless, and thus escape the danger of cupiditas, and if you can count something precious as if it were worthless, you will be able to gladly give your possessions away, even your precious ones, avoiding the danger of avaritia.


Vita Caesaris: You can see my IVLIVS CAESAR feed with a sentence from Plutarch's Life of Caesar each day in Greek, Latin and English. Today's Latin portion is full of praise for Caesar's efforts in Gaul: Bellorum autem quae deinceps gessit et expeditionum quibus Galliam domuit tempus eum, quasi alio exorsum initio aliaque uiuendi atque agendi ingressum uia, non ullo eorum qui summi et maxime apud omnes in admiratione habentur ducum inferiorem commonstrauit et pugnandi laude et imperandi. (watch out for the negative non which is so far away from the verb: it really is praising Caesar for NOT being inferior!)

Proverbiis Pipilo: You can see my Proverbia feed of Latin proverbs which I "tweet" while I am online each day (in English, too). Here's one from today: Graculus a graculo, fur a fure cognoscitur, lupus a lupo (English: One daw knows another, as thief knows thief and wolf knows wolf - a saying posted in reply to passer_invenit's marvelous Twitter picture of a graculus).


You can get access to all the proverb of the day scripts (also available as random proverb scripts) at the website.

Audio Latin Proverb of the Day: Today's audio Latin proverb is Mons parturibat, deinde murem prodidit (English: The mountain was giving birth; it finally brought forth a mouse). To read a brief essay about this proverb and to listen to the audio, visit the Latin Via Proverbs blog.

Maxims of Publilius Syrus: Today's proverb from Publilius Syrus is one of my personal favorites! Discipulus est prioris posterior dies (English: The day after is the student of the day before… in other words: lifelong learning!).

Rhyming Proverbs: Today's proverb in Leonine verse form is: Et semel emissum volat irrevocabile verbum (English: As soon as it is let loose, a word flies forth and cannot be recalled… so: think before you speak!).

Proverbs of Polydorus: Today's proverb from Polydorus is: Acti labores iucundi sunt (English: Work, once done, is pleasant… which is a great thought to have in mind at almost-the-end of the semester).

Proverbium Perbreve of the Day: Today's two-word proverb is: Moderata durant. (English: Things in moderation endure - as oppose to the precarious status of things at either extreme).

Proverbium Breve of the Day: Today's three-word proverb is: Dura domina cupiditas (English: Desire is a harsh mistress… mainly because she is never satisfied!).

Vulgate Verse of the Day: Today's verse is Durum est tibi contra stimulum calcitrare (Acts 26:14). For a translation, check out the polyglot Bible, in English, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, at the Sacred Texts Archive online.

Latin Animal Proverb of the Day: Today's animal proverb is Falco meis sed talpa tuis erroribus exstas (English: You turn out to be a falcon in detecting my mistakes, but (blind as) a mole in detecting your own!).

Latin Animal Proverb of the Day from Erasmus: Today's animal proverb is Aesopicus graculus (English: Aesop's jackdaw; from Adagia 3.6.91 - referring to the fable of the jackdaw in borrowed feathers… what a funny coincidence that is the "day of the graculus" here at the blog).

Proper Name Proverb of the Day from Erasmus: Today's proper name proverb is Battologia (English: Speaking like Battus; from Adagia 2.1.92 - this idea of "Battology" refers to a proverbially inept poet named Battus who wrote long hymns that repeated the same thing over and over. ).

Greek Proverb of the Day: Today's proverb is Καὶ φιλεῖν δεῖ, ὡς καὶ μισήσοντας· καὶ μισεῖν, ὡς καὶ φιλήσοντας. (English: You should both love as if it would turn to hate, and hate, as if it would turn to love).


Fable of the Day: Today's fable of the day from Barlow is DE CANE ET UMBRA, the famous story of the dog who was fooled by his own reflection in the water.

Ictibus Felicibus: Today's fable with macrons and accent marks is Ranae et Rex Earum, the story of the frogs who foolishly thought they needed a king. Here is an illustration for the story by Walter Crane (image source).

Aesop's Fables in Latin now available at


William Wood Field said...

I like this blog! Especially since you have not thrown an eraser at me as my high school Latin teacher used to do. She could "dust" me at twenty feet.

Keep up the good work.

Laura Gibbs said...

Thank you for your nice words, William! I often find myself doing "post-traumatic Latin stress disorder" counseling for people who had a rough time in Latin classes long ago! :-)

William Wood Field said...

In a way I’m thankful that I took Latin in high school. Mind you, I took the course to get away from another student who was alphabetically chained to me for four years. It was that sort of school. We were always seated alphabetically. Since he took everything that I did, I thought I might lose him by signing up for that Latin class. “Latin?” he said, “you gotta be kidding. Are you serious? Latin?” No such luck however: he tagged along with me just to ruin another one of my classes. And, really, that’s why that woman who taught the course threw that blackboard eraser at me. My “buddy” kept ensnaring me in his protracted silliness. I received many lessons in “Guilt by Association” there. The amazing thing was the teacher’s strabismus: you never knew who she was looking at and that eraser almost always came at your head quite unexpectedly.

But years later, those Latin lessons paid large dividends. A boiler water treatment chemical salesman (man, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it) came into my office in the maintenance department of a manufacturing plant where I worked. He was wearing a cap that said “Caveat Emptor” on the front. I cracked up laughing at the irony of a salesman wearing such a cap. He told me I was the only customer he had that would understand the subtle meaning of that message. “Hey, I took Latin in high school,” I said. “And I have the chalkboard dust on me to prove it.”

And beside that, I’m a Latin dictionary “reader.” I love to page through my Latin dictionary to find cool phrases. That’s why I love your blog: you save me a lot of work finding the good stuff. Thanks!

Laura Gibbs said...

Ha ha, I learned about "caveat emptor" from a Brady Brunch episode when I was a little kid... now that I think about it, that may be the first Latin saying I ever learned, ha ha.

I don't know if you have prowled around in Google Books but there are some amazing resources there, including old Latin word and phrase lists that were meant to help schoolboys compose in Latin. Just last night I discovered a 16th-century Elizabethan Latin teacher's notebook that has been edited and published, and which is available online - fabulous stuff, very fun Elizabethan English to go along with the Latin!

Iste said...

Interesting stuff, particularly the ancestry of the editor himself, who to me is better known as one of the authors of a grammar of Septuagint Greek...

Incidentally, I had one of those eraser-throwing latin teachers for years, too. Most of the time, though, he preferred simply to stamp the side of your face with it, in order to mitigate evasion. He did, know his latin, however, being a Jesuit priest!

Thanks for the blog!

Laura Gibbs said...

Exactly: that is how I know the name Conybeare also! Apparently this is a family of scholars going back to the Renaissance; the book itself is edited by the grandson of the Elizabethan schoolmaster, and then edited again by the Conybeare that we know from the Septuagint textbook. :-)