Famous Latin Quotes Posted by Brittany Britanniae on Jun 17, 2021 in Grammar, Latin Language
Today, we are going to talk about famous Latin quotes. The allure of Latin is apparent in its portrayal in media. For most, it is a distance magical language. However, most people don’t realize that Latin permeates our language today.
Famous Latin Quotes
Many famous quotes that most people have heard have Latin roots are were popularized through Latin. We will be exploring some of these quotes today. Each quote will include some grammar notes.
- Omnium Rerum Principia Parva Sunt – ‘The beginnings of all things are small.’ – Cicero
- A literal translation would be “of all things, beginnings small are.”
- Male Parta Male Dilabuntur – ‘What has been wrongly gained is wrongly lost.’ – Cicero
- Grammatical this saying is “those things (implied by “parta” neuter plural ending) having been acquired wrongly or badly, they are wrongly or badly lost”
- Amor Vincit Omnia – ‘Love conquers all.’ – Virgil
- This sentence is pretty straightforward. Omnia refers to all things as a neuter plural.
- Non Omnia Possumus Omnes – ‘We can’t all of us do everything.’ – Virgil
- Again, this sentence is straightforward with omnia in the same case as #3.
Other Author Quotes
- Carpe Diem – ‘Seize the day.’ – Horace
- Carpe is an imperative. Learn more about imperatives here.
- Timendi Causa Est Nescire – ‘The cause of fear is ignorance.’ – Seneca
- A literal translation would be “Being afraid cause is to be[ing] ignorant.” Timendi is a gerund.
- Ars Longa, Vita Brevis – ‘Art is long, life is short.’– Hippocrates.
- The verb “est” is assumed in both parts.
- In Vino Veritas – ‘Truth in Wine.’– Pliny the Elder
- Although, it may not look like it. Veritas is a singular nominative.
- Exitus Acta Probat – ‘The result justifies the deed.’— Ovid
- This sentence is pretty straight forward. “The ending/result, the deed esteems or justifies”
- Fiat Lux – ‘Let there be light.’— Old Testament ‐ Genesis 1:3 [Vulgate Latin Bible]
- While this was not originally a Latin phrase, I would like to say that more people were introduced to the Bible through Latin. Fiat is the jussive subjunctive form of the verb facio (to make, to build, sometimes to be). The English translation of “Let BLANK happen” is the general translation of the jussive.
So, the next time to hear one of these phrases in media or conversation, you now know the origin and a bit about the Latin.
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