Popular Latin Quotes, Sayings, Phrases & Mottos

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


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David Beckham's new tattoo. A Latin phrase, of course!

 
This just in! The international soccer sensation and tattoo icon David Beckham added a new Latin phrase to his repertoire: De integro. "Telegraph" translates "De Integro" as "Again from the start". Fair enough. What's more interesting, the footballer's lovely wife Victoria followed suit with the exact copy of her husband's new motto.

The phrase is also reminiscent of Eclogue 4:

magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... ham118.xml

See also:

Beckham's tattoo

Fidelity of the people of Cornwall

 
An inscription on a sun-dial at the church porch of St. Levan, Cornwall:

SlCUT UMBRA TRANSEUNT DIES. As the shadow pass the days.

The church is rich in old oak, and also
possesses a fragmentary copy of the letter of thanks
written by King Charles I. to his people of Cornwall
for their fidelity, dated from his camp at Sudeley Castle,
1643, and ordered to be printed, published, and
read in every church or chapel in Cornwall, and to be
kept for ever as a record of their king's gratitude.

(From The Book of Sun-dials)

I like how the letter thanking the people of Cornwall for their fidelity was ordered to be read. Surely, many were punished for not properly heeding its warm tone, or worse, not attending the special gathering of loyal subjects. And if they somehow forget about the King's gratitude, the letter should conveniently remind them of it.

Harvard faculty to the rescue! Kathleen Coleman and the makers of "Gladiator"

 
Monday, March 3, 2008, 16:27 - Learn Latin Language, Popular Latin Phrases, Mottos, Slogans
Posted by Administrator
A lengthy, but quite interesting article about some experiences of Harvard faculty members, who are often called upon to help out with Latin (from translating mottos to consulting movie-makers).

http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=522254

Kathleen Coleman's short-lived experience as a consultant for the movie "Gladiator" is especially amusing:

She recalled one exchange between the filmmakers in a 2005 Financial Times article: Kathy, we need to get a piece of evidence which proves that women gladiators had sharpened razor blades attached to their nipples. Could you have it by lunchtime?

That was not a very good experience for her, department administrator Teresa T. Wu said. I think she wont work with Hollywood again.


I sure hope this article does not result in more people calling the Classics Department with questions they could have resolved otherwise.

French phrases for mottos, slogans and language learning

 
Friday, February 29, 2008, 20:30 - French Language, Popular Latin Phrases, Mottos, Slogans, Heraldry, Symbols and Emblems
Posted by Administrator
Made a new little list:
French phrases used as heraldic mottos.

French phrases adopted as mottos, in my opinion, have slightly different connotations, as opposed to the Latin ones. They have a certain air of chivalry and perhaps a distinctly feudal sense of duty and allegiance. Or, perhaps, Latin mottos better represent the aspirations and ideals of the well educated religious and academic elite, while French mottos are more indicative of the warrior culture of the Middle Ages. It is my belief, of course, that it is not a bad idea to start learning a language by noticing that you may already have some knowledge of it. Mottos are exactly the kind of thing that can be known to people who otherwise are clueless about the actual grammar or vocabulary of a given language.

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