Saturday, April 28, 2012

O Tempora!

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 8.58.

O Tempora!
“Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.”
Quomodo? Fit semper tempore peior homo.

The Times are Chang’d, and in them Chang’d are we:
How? Man as Times grow worse, grows worse we see.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There is only one word in this poem that is not on the DCC list:

pēior, pēiōris - worse

et: and
fīo fierī factus sum: become
homo hominis m.: human being
ille, illa, illud: that
in: in, on (+ abl.); into onto (+ acc)
mūto -āre: change
nōs, nostrum/nostrī nobis nōs: we
quōmodo: in what way, how?
semper: always, ever
tempus -oris n.: time


  1. Wikipedia gives:

    Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis;
    Quo modo? FIT semper tempore pejor homo.

    "How 's that? The man (mankind) always gets worse with time".

    Doesn't FIT fit better than SIT?

  2. You know, that sounds better - with these old books it is often hard to tell the difference. I've been using Dana Sutton's online edition, which reads "sit" - - but I will amend it here and send a note to Professor Sutton too! :-)


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