Monday, December 14, 2009

Round-Up: December 14

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 undevicesimum Kalendas Ianuarias. 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. This is the moral to Phaedrus's fable about how the crow, the eagle and the turtle in its shell. You can find the complete fable with a word list at
Contra potentes nemo est munitus satis;
si vero accessit consiliator maleficus,
vis et nequitia quicquid oppugnant, ruit.
English: "Against the powerful, no one is sufficiently protected; if, in fact, a wicked advisor has gotten involved, whatever power and wickedness attack collapses." So, in terms of the fable, it is the poor turtle who is ruined, despite the protection of her shell, defeated as she is by the power of the eagle and the wickedness of the crow.


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 portion describes how Caesar made the best of his bad health: Verum ualetudinem Caesar non mollitiei ansam arripuit, sed expeditionibus, difficillimis itineribus, tenuitate uictus, et continua sub dio uita et aerumnosa morbum depellere et corpus sanum tueri studebat (the Latin sub dio means "under the sky," sleeping outdoors).

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 an environmental one from today: Arbores serit agricola quarum adspiciet baccam ipse numquam (English: The farmer plants trees whose fruit he himself will never see).


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

2-Word Mottoes: Today's 2-word motto is: Virescit virtus (English: Excellence flourishes - although that doesn't capture the nice word play in Latin).

3-Word Mottoes: Nouns: Today's 3-word verb-less motto is Omnia pro bono (English: All things for the good - and yes, that is the same "pro bono" phrase that we still use in English today).

3-Word Mottoes: Verbs: Today's 3-word motto with verb is Virtus probata florescit (English: Excellence, having been tested, flourishes - the probata adds a new twist; not just excellence, but proven excellence).

2-Word Proverbs: Today's 2-word proverb is: Multa paucis (English: Many by means of a few - a saying that applies to proverbs themselves, which manage to say many things in just a few words!).

3-Word Proverbs: Nouns: Today's 3-word verb-less proverb is Fumus, ergo ignis (English: Smoke, therefore fire).

3-Word Proverbs: Nouns: Today's 3-word proverb with verb is Par pari referto (English: Pay back like for like - and note the formation of the future imperative from referre: referto).

Audio Latin Proverb: Today's audio Latin proverb is Ubi dolor, ibi digitus (English: Where there's pain, there's the finger.). To read a brief essay about this proverb and to listen to the audio, visit the Latin Via Proverbs blog.

Latin Animal Proverb: Today's animal proverb is Fele absente, mures choreas ducunt (English: When the cat is away, the mice do a dance - notice that chorea has the meaning of dance and movement, which has become largely lost in the English word "chorus," but which survives in "choreography").

Rhyming Proverbs: Today's proverb with rhyme is: Quid pectunt illi, quibus absunt fronte capilli? (English: What's the point of combing, when men lack hair on their foreheads?... there are many proverbs, fables and jokes about baldness in Latin).

Maxims of Publilius Syrus: Today's proverb from Publilius Syrus is: Homo totiens moritur, quotiens amittit suos (English: You die every time you lose someone who is dear to you).

Proverbs of Polydorus: Today's proverb from Polydorus is: Leges bonae ex malis moribus procreantur (English: Good laws are born of bad habits).

Vulgate Verse: Today's verse is Discite benefacere; quaerite iudicium (Isaiah 1:17). For a translation, check out the polyglot Bible, in English, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, at the Sacred Texts Archive online.

Animal Proverb from Erasmus: Today's animal proverb from Erasmus is Leonis catulum ne alas (English: Don't raise a lion cub; from Adagia 2.3.77 - of course this is good advice just taken literally, and metaphorically it can apply to anything which starts out cute and fun and soon gets completely out of control!).

Proper Name Proverb from Erasmus: Today's proper name proverb from Erasmus is Nemo bene merito bovem immolavit, praeter Pyrrhiam (English: No one except Pyrrhias has slain an ox for his benefactor; from Adagia 2.4.1 - this refers to someone who shows exceptional gratitude; Pyrrhias had rescued a man from pirates who managed to bring away some of the pirate treasure with him and shared it with Pyrrhias, for which Pyrrhias showed his gratitude by sacrificing an ox - a story recounted by Plutarch).

Elizabethan Proverb Commentary: Here is today's proverb commentary, this time by Conybeare: Camelus Bactrina: A proverbe applied where one bringeth forthe a thing to be marveled at or feared, which yn dede ys to be contemned and laughed at. (There's an Aesop's fable on this same theme, too!).

Greek Proverb of the Day: Today's proverb is Ἔφυγον κακὸν ἑῦρον ἄμεινον (English: I fled something bad and found something better).


Ictibus Felicibus: Today's fable with macrons and accent marks is Ranae ad Solem, the story of the frogs and the wedding of the Sun.

Gaudium Mundo: Today's Latin holiday songs from the Gaudium Mundo blog are: A Solis Ortus Cardine along with Jesus minimulus, a Latin version of the Polish carol, "Jezus malusieńki."

For those of you reading this at the blog, here is a performance of A Solis Ortus Cardine.

Aesop's Fables in Latin now available at

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