Posts in Latin proverbs
Omnia Vincit Amor: Love in ancient Rome

"Omnia vincit amor", or "Amor vincit omnia" as it is sometimes written, is one of history's most famous romantic expressions. It is also one of the most frequently used Latin phrases today. In this article, you will learn more about this quote from Virgil's pastoral poem and the man who uttered it. You will read about Roman love, about duties, despairs, longings, and love-sickness.

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Iacta Alea Est: Crossing the Rubicon

"Iacta alea est", or “alea iacta est”, is one of history's most famous quotes. It is also an old Latin expression, a battle cry and an ancient proverb. In this article you will learn more about this saying from Suetonius' biography of Julius Caesar and how to use the expression. You will get to know its origin, the situation in which it was used - if it was ever used at all - learn more about the Civil War between Caesar and Pompey, find out about Roman dice and maybe find the Rubicon. 

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Invita Minerva: Going against a Goddess

Have you ever done something against Minerva's will or "Invita Minerva" as Cicero would have put it? This Latin expression is about going against a goddess. Learn more about how Cicero used this expression, about a tip from Horace, about this expression, its meaning and even its use in more recent days and its popularity amongst poets.

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Stilum vertere: How to erase something like a true Roman

Was erasing something so different during Ancient Roman times than from today? Well, yes it was. You even had a special expression for it - to turn the pen or “stilum vertere”. This expression could also be used metaphorically. This article will teach you more about the expression “stilum vertere”, give you an insight to Roman writing practices and learn about Horace's notion about the importance for a poet to follow the instructions of the expression. 

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Mihi aqua haeret: Cicero at a stand

When modern people are at a stand, the Romans would have their water stop. This article discuss the expression mihi aqua haeret and its use and possible origins. It will look at Cicero’s use of it and put the expression in context, i.e. give you an insight to ancient water clocks.

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Nemo saltat sobrius: Dancing in Ancient Rome

Nemo saltat sobrius is one of the most famous lines in history, and was uttered by none other than Cicero himself. This Latin expression, or proverb if you will, about drunken dancing and the context in which it was uttered gives away quite a lot about how the Romans viewed dancing.

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Cygnea Cantio: The Swan-song

Do swans sing before they die? What did the Romans say about it? And do singing swans have anything to do with the expression swan-song and the Latin version Cygnea cantio? Find out more in this article.

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Auribus teneo lupum: Why Emperor Tiberius and President Thomas Jeffersson both held a wolf by the ears

To hold a wolf by the ears is an old Latin proverb, Auribus teneo lupum, made famous again in modern times as it was used by President Thomas Jeffersson. Learn more about how this expression was used, and what it actually meant to hold a wolf by the ears to the Romans.

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Lupus in Fabula: How to speak of the Devil in Latin

The Latin expression “The wolf in the story” or Lupus in Fabula is well used in Classical Literature and has plenty of modern equivalents. Learn more about the fabled wolf and his expression and when to use it. You’d want to cry wolf like a Roman - with the right expression and at the right time!

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Hastas abicere

If you ever feel like giving up, but want to express that in Latin, you should turn to Cicero and his expression about spears. Find out more about Cicero’s defence for Lucius Murena, why you shouldn’t throw a spear and maybe a little something about William Blake. 

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