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  • There are good reasons you see so many people with Latin tattoos.

  • For a start, Latin is a highly economical language -

  • you can say a lot in just a handful of words.

  • Another reason is that Latin literature

  • is full of timeless truisms.

  • Observations made over 2,000 years ago

  • are often as applicable to us now as they were to the Romans.

  • Here are five quotes from Latin authors

  • I feel are just as relevant to us today.

  • Number one:

  • Non videmus manticae quod in tergo est.

  • We cannot see the baggage that's on our own back.

  • In the mid-1st Century BC,

  • the Latin love poet, Catullus, observed a common human trait.

  • While we find it easy to recognise faults in other people,

  • we tend to be more or less blind to our own.

  • "Each of us has been assigned his own fault," he wrote,

  • "but we cannot see the baggage that's on our own back."

  • Catullus' message then, from over 2,000 years ago,

  • is to think about your own faults before criticising others.

  • Two:

  • Omnia vincit amor.

  • Love conquers all.

  • Love, in Virgil's line, isn't just a human emotion,

  • it's a divine force.

  • Love, amor, is Cupid,

  • the son of Venus, the goddess of love.

  • He will strike you with his arrow and make you fall hopelessly in love.

  • The love-sick poet who sighed, "Omnia vincit amor"

  • knew that to be in love isn't necessarily to be happy.

  • To be in love is also to be in pain.

  • Virgil shows us there's no point in trying to fight it.

  • "Omnia vincit amor, et nos cedamus amori" he continues.

  • "You're better off yielding to love

  • than trying to shield yourself from his spell."

  • Three:

  • Si hortum in bibliotheca habes deerit nihil.

  • If you have a garden and a library, you'll lack nothing.

  • Cicero actually wrote,

  • "If you have a garden in the library, you'll lack nothing."

  • Houses in Rome typically had the garden in the middle of the house

  • rather than at the back.

  • In the ancient world there was a tradition for learning outside.

  • Students at Plato's academy in Greece, for instance,

  • used to learn among the trees.

  • Cicero's message is if you have books and nature you have everything.

  • Four:

  • In vino veritas.

  • In wine is truth.

  • Anyone who has drunk a few glasses can vouch for this.

  • Wine loosens the tongue.

  • It may make you talk a lot of nonsense but as the ancients knew,

  • it could also make you spill your secrets.

  • The historian Pliny the Elder alluded to a popular saying,

  • about wine bringing out the truth.

  • "Veritas vino est."

  • At the same time, he pitied the drunks who do not see the Sun rising

  • and therefore live shorter lives.

  • Five:

  • Donec eris sospes multos numerabis amicos.

  • For as long as you're doing well, you'll have many friends.

  • Ovid was one of the leading poets of his day

  • but fell foul of the emperor

  • and was banished to the coast of modern Romania.

  • While there he wrote about his miserable fate,

  • which he blamed on a poem and a mistake.

  • The poem was full of advice about how to love and make love

  • and was far too raunchy for his times.

  • What the mistake was remains a mystery to this day.

  • In exile, the once popular poet found himself friendless.

  • The message is surely to work out who your real friends are

  • before it's too late.

  • Thanks for watching. Don't forget to subscribe and click the bell to receive notificatons for new videos.

  • See you again soon!

There are good reasons you see so many people with Latin tattoos.

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B1 UK latin amor love poet virgil wine

5 Latin phrases that are still meaningful today | BBC Ideas

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    Seraya posted on 2020/04/05
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