Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nemo Laeditur Nisi A Seipso

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 4.209. The first line plays on the words crimen and discrimen, and reminds us that we face them both in our lives; we learn more about that in the second line: it is our crimina that leads us into discrimen. As a result, we are our own worst enemies!

Nemo Laeditur Nisi A SeipsoCriminis est nemo, nemo discriminis expers;
Nos in discrimen crimina nempe vocant.

None’s free from Crimes, nor Discords: For most times
Our Discords are procur’d by our own Crimes.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are three words which are not on the DCC list:

discrīmen, discrīminis n. - division, difference, crisis, danger
expers, expertis - having no part in, free from
nempe - truly, certainly, of course

ā, ab, abs: from, by (+abl.)
crīmen -inis n.: verdict, accusation
in: in, on (+ abl.); into onto (+ acc)
ipse, ipsa, ipsum: him- her- itself
laedo -ere laesī laesum: injure by striking, hurt
nēmo: no one (gen. nullius, dat. nulli, abl. nullo or nulla > nullus -a -um)
nisi/nī: if not, unless
nōs, nostrum/nostrī nobis nōs: we
sui, sibi, sē: him- her- itself
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
voco -āre: call


  1. Yeah, it is sad but a bit funny at the same time, which is why I chose it. Sometimes finding images to go with the more abstract emblems is kind of hard. I looked for a picture of someone tripping and falling down some stairs at first, but I could not find a good image for that. Then I found the poor teddy bear, and it seemed to fit! :-)


(Comments are Google account only, but feel free to contact me directly at if you do not have a Google account.)