Friday, March 9, 2012

Cato 3.1: Ne Discere Cessa

Here is today's distich by Cato (so-called), 3.1, with English translations by Duff and Chase.

Instrue praeceptis animum, ne discere cessa;
Nam sine doctrina vita est quasi mortis imago.

Learn what both life and precepts teach, and so
Life's fulness have which th' untaught never know.

Fail not to learn: equip your mind with rules;
Count as but death the life that never schools.

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

cesso -āre - delay, stop, cease
doctrīna f. - education, learning, instruction
instruo - ere, instruxī, instructum - build, set in order, teach

animus -ī m.: spirit, mind
disco -ere didicī: learn
imāgo -inis f.: image, form, figure
mors mortis f.: death
nam: for, indeed, really
nē: lest, that not
praecipio -cipere -cēpī -ceptum: anticipate, advise, warn
quasi: as if
sine: without (+ abl.)
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
vīta -ae f.: life


  1. A try in Portuguese:

    Alimente o espírito com princípios e não pare de aprender;
    Pois a vida sem aprendizado se parece com a morte.

    Vale! Elias

  2. How delightful, Elias - I guess those of us who know Latin can guess at many of the words in Portuguese. What fun! Thank you!

  3. You're welcome teacher!

    A correction (forgot the imperative):

    "Alimenta o espírito com princípios e não para de aprender;
    Pois a vida sem aprendizado se parece com a morte."


  4. Elias, since you speak Portuguese I have to ask if you know the wonderful site by Kocher...? It is great even for people without Portuguese, but you would really like it I think!
    Compilado por HENERIK KOCHER
    It is one of my favorites! :-)

  5. Laura, I know this website, one of my favorites too.

    Thank you, Elias


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