Latin aphorisms: description, list and interesting facts
All of us sometimes want to impress the interlocutor in a conversation or to show off with a beautiful phrase in correspondence. A good way to do this is to use phrases from the Latin language. A tribe of Latins communicated among themselves, which once inhabited the territory of modern central Italy. According to legend, the most famous representatives of this tribe - the brothers Romulus and Remus - are the founders of Rome. Sometimes we use Latin expressions without even knowing their origin. They are so firmly established in the Russian language that we use these phrases without realizing their origin. For example, these are the words “alibi”, “alter ego”, “alma mater”. What other phrases will be interesting to those who would like to show off their oratory skills? We offer you a few such expressions.
Achieve success from scratch
The authorship of one of the most popular Latin aphorisms is often attributed to the philosopher Seneca: Per aspera ad astra,which literally translates as "Through thorns to the stars." What does he mean? Each person on the path of his development goes through many stages. Someone they are given simply, but someone has to make serious efforts in order to move to a new level. This expression can be used, for example, in cases where a person has managed to open his own business without having a large amount for start-up capital. A year ago, he “considered pennies,” but through persistent and long work he managed to make his life and the life of his family comfortable. In this case, we can say that he went to his success through thorns to the stars.
Man to man ...
And here is another Latin aphorism, firmly rooted in ordinary speech: Homo homini lupus est. It is translated as "man wolf man." This expression is usually used when a speaker or letter author wants to emphasize that people are usually alien to each other. Few people will help a stranger, and someone else's trouble rarely cares. This expression was first heard in the comedy “The Donkeys” of an ancient Roman playwright named Plavt. In one of the most everyday scenes of this comedy, a person had to transfer money to another through a slave, but refused to do so.
At the repeated request, he said: “You cannot convince me to give money to a stranger. Man is a wolf to a person if he does not know him. ” We see that initially it was a question of simple distrust. But at a later time, this Latin aphorism acquired a slightly different meaning. He began to apply to society, where everyone fights only for their own interests. Also, this phrase was used in the work of Leviathan by T. Hobbes.
Beard is not an indicator of the mind
Here is another Latin aphorism that the Romans liked to use to emphasize: age is not always a necessary condition of the mind. Barba crescit, caput nescit, which means "The beard grows, the head does not know." It often happens that a person, having reached a certain age, still has not gained practical knowledge. In this case, the age is only a mark in the passport, which does not indicate the presence of life experience. The ancient Romans had another analogue of this aphorism: Barba non facit philosophum, which means “the beard has grown, but no mind”.
Forgive mistakes yourself and others
And the following Latin aphorism is well suited to those who are prone to treat things philosophically: Errare humanum est, which means “to err is human” (or “to err is human”).With the help of mistakes, a person really has a chance to gain invaluable experience. Also, we often say that only the one who does nothing is not mistaken - that is, only a complete absence of them can serve as insurance against wrongdoing. This was known in ancient Rome. Why not use this Latin aphorism on occasion?
Principle of power
Divide et impera - and this phrase translates as "divide and conquer." This phrase can often be heard when it comes to governing a country, divided into several parts. But it is often used in those cases when it is said about managing a group of people, for example in an enterprise. Who was the author of these words? Scientists have long wanted to find out who said them for the first time. These words were maxims in the Roman senate, but they are absent in classical Latin texts. But often the expression “divide and conquer” is found in French literature, for example, in the work “The Roman History” by the author Charles Rollin.
The meaning of this phrase boils down to the following: a large team needs to be broken up into several small ones, so it will be much easier to manage them.Small groups are unlikely to repel the existing form of government.
But the Latin aphorism with the translation, which is probably known to anyone who is more or less familiar with the English language: Carpe diem, which means “catch the day”. Often this phrase is translated as “seize the moment” or “enjoy life”. For many, a certain psychological difficulty is the ability to live in the present moment. But in fact, the ability to "seize the moment" should be learned by every person who wants to live a full, healthy life. People, unlike our smaller brothers, have the gift of abstract thinking. This allows us not only to perceive the environment around us, but also to analyze it. Thanks to abstract thinking, we are able to adequately assess the situation, make the right decisions.
However, this gift is also an obstacle, because of which it is difficult for a person to relax, enjoy the current moment.
The inability to live on the advice of the Romans always turns into trouble. For example, if a young man wants to approach a girl, but begins to be shy, then, no matter how attractive he looks, most likely, it will be very difficult to make a conversation. The same thing happens in interviews.When the applicant all the time pays attention to how he looks, whether he says everything correctly and whether it is appropriate, then his focus is constantly getting lost, which leads to unpleasant consequences. Most likely, the employer will not be interested in the identity of such a candidate and is unlikely to consider his ideas seriously.
There is another aphorism in Latin, which is the antonym of the above: Carpe noctem, or “catch the night.” This expression can be used to obtain additional motivation to observe the daily regimen. All things are better to finish before dark, and to devote evening and night to rest. Night rest is no less important than day work - because if a person does not rest in the dark, it is unlikely that he will work productively during the day.
Latin aphorisms in modern culture occupy an important place - and first of all they can be found in literary works. The widespread distribution of phrases from the Latin language is a consequence of the literacy of the population, mass education. But earlier, in the Middle Ages and even in modern times, knowledge of the Latin language and various phrases was a privilege of a few words of the population.
Here is a list of several aphorisms that will be useful both in writing a letter and those who would like to create a work of art — for example, to write a book, a script for a movie, and possibly a song:
- Alea jacta est - [ala yakta ect]. “The die is cast,” in other words, there is no turning back.
- Docendo discimus - [docendo discimus]. This phrase translates as “teaching - learning.
- Festina lente - [festina lente]. "Hurry slowly."
- Tertium non datur - [Tertium non datur]. "There is no third".
These Latin aphorisms with translation and transcription will help demonstrate your erudition and decorate any speech.
Both the ancient Greeks and the Romans highly valued education. Often, pundits were under the tutelage of the rulers. This position was occupied by one of the most famous mathematicians and engineers of the time - Archimedes. The fact is that during the Second Punic War, the invention of Archimedes more than once saved the city of Syracuse, where the scientist lived, from the attacks of enemies.
But, unfortunately, respect for the scientist was not ubiquitous. According to historical sources, Archimedes was killed at the age of 75 by a Roman soldier for having removed him from himself while being immersed in work.Then the mathematician said one of the phrases that turned into an aphorism: “Do not touch my circles!” (Noli turbare circulos meos!).
Latin aphorisms about medicine
Winged expressions that relate to human health can be interesting both to the ordinary man in the street and those who are somehow connected with medicine.
For example, here is one of these expressions: Hygiena amica valetudinis. It is translated as "hygiene - a friend of health." Of course, it’s hard to argue with this phrase: where there is insanitary conditions, there is always a risk of various diseases.
And here is another Latin medical aphorism: Medica mente, non medicamentis. His literal translation reads: “Treat with the mind, not with drugs.” Indeed, if a person simply prescribing medications that will affect one or another symptom, it will be extremely difficult to cure the disease once and for all. For example, many of the diseases have psychological roots. In this case, the need to treat the root cause. Eliminating the psychological component that causes a person to experience constant stress, you can achieve a noticeable improvement in his condition. Moreover, if the disease is treated with ordinary medications, then perhaps the improvement will come, but the remission is unlikely to be long.As soon as a person is again influenced by a negative factor that will cause stress, the symptoms of the disease will again be felt.
There are also quite a few Latin aphorisms about love. For example, it is the phrase Amor Caecus, which means "love is blind." And also another phrase is known - Amor vincit omnia. It translates as "love wins all." Yes, the ancient Romans knew a lot about love. And therefore, Latin expressions can be successfully used in romantic correspondence.