Latin Proverbs, Mottoes, Phrases, and Words: Group F
(classical-language maxims, slogans, adages, proverbs, and words of wisdom that can still capture our modern imagination)
Expressions of general truths: Latin to English maxims, proverbs, and mottoes
Word entries are from Latin unless otherwise indicated.
A bundle of birch rods tied around in a crisscross pattern with red leather thongs. In ancient Rome, fasces were assigned to the higher magistrates as symbols of authority, and might represent power over life.
Carried by men called lictors, they preceded the curule magistrate as well as the proconsul and propraetor, as a symbol of his imperium.
Within the pomerium, only the rods went into the bundles, to signify that the curule magistrate had only the power to chastise; outside the pomerium, axes were inserted into the bundles, to signify that the curule magistrate also had the power to execute.
The number of fasces indicated the degree of imperium. A dictator had twenty-four, a consul or proconsul twelve, a praetor or propraetor six, and a curule aedile two.
In ancient Rome, working days when the law courts were open for business.
Holy days, when the law courts, etc., were not open were called dies nefasti. The dies fasti were listed in calendars and the list of events occurring during the year of office of a pair of consuls was called fasti consulares; therefore, any chronological list of events of office-holders were known as fasti.
The name of Fauna came to mean "animals" because the many-breasted Diana was supposed to give birth to all animals and to nourish them with her numerous breasts, as shown on her famous statue at Ephesus.
Another name for Fauna was Bona Dea, the "Good Goddess".
A Roman god of the forests and rural areas, he was patron of herding, hunting, and husbandry. He was worshiped in groves, where his oracles were heard by a visitant while asleep on a sacred fleece. He revealed nature's secrets to men only. His priests were the Luperci; his main festival the Lupercalia. Two festivals called Faunalia were celebrated on February 13 and December 5.
Faunus was identified with the Sylvanus and the Greek god Pan. He was considered a good spirit of forests and fields, and a god of prophecy. He had the form of a Satyr (a creature with goat-like ears, pug-nose, short tail, and budding horns) and is identified with the Greek god Pan (Greek woodland spirit or deity). At his festivals, called Faunalia, peasants brought rustic offerings and had a "merry" time.
Formerly used as part of an artist's signature to a work of art: Goya fecit, "made by Goya"; that is, "Goya [made] painted this."
When things are going financially well, one has many friends; when one's fortune is depleted, don't expect those same friends to be around.
Order of the Two Sicilies.
If this proverb contains any accuracy, the U.S. must have many unhappy people.
From Georglcs by Virgil who may have been praising the superior intelligence of those who can comprehend the secrets of nature and, as a result, avoid dependence on superstition to explain natural phenomena.
Suetonius, in his Divus Augustus, attributes this bit of wisdom to the emperor Augustus, who moved cautiously, step by step, to transform Rome from a republic to an empire ruled by one man (an autocrat).
This maxim promotes the conception that the law must be followed precisely (blindly), regardless of any extenuating circumstances including finding out that the convicted person is innocent. It is apparently based on a situation presented by Seneca, "The Younger" (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, c. 4 B.C.-A.D. 65), who tells us about a man who was supposed to be hanged for murder, but he was sent by the executioner to a government official by the name of Piso because the purported victim appeared in public alive.
Piso would not change the sentence of death. Instead, he ordered all three men to be hanged: the convicted criminal because the sentence had been passed, the executioner because he was derelict in his duty by not going ahead with the execution, and the assumed victim because he was considered the cause of the death of other two innocent men.