Monday, June 18, 2012

Amat Victoria Curam

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Amat Victoria Curam
Vincere vis? Labor adsit; amat victoria curam:
   Vinces, si vincet non tua terga labor.

Source: Georgius Carolides (1569-1612), Farrago, 4.62. Meter: Elegiac. This distich is inspired by the famous Latin saying, amat victoria curam. Here cura does not have the sense of care or anxiety, but rather carefulness, careful preparation.

Do you want to be victorious? (vis vincere?) Let there be hard work (labor adsit); victory loves painstaking effort (amat victoria curam): you will be victorious (vinces) if the hard work (si labor) does not break your back (non vincet tua terga).

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. All the words in this poem are on that list:

adsum adesse affuī: be present
amō -āre: to love; amans -ntis m./f.: lover
cūra -ae f.: care, concern
labor -ōris m.: toil, exertion
nōn: not
sī: if
tergum -ī n.: back, rear; a tergō: from the rear
tuus -a -um: your
victōria -ae f.: victory
vincō vincere vīcī victum: conquer
volō velle voluī: wish, be willing


  1. tua terga - 'your backs'? (neut plur) Is that a special Latin idiom?

  2. Believe it or not, it is! I'm guessing the real reason there is the meter (tergum would not fit), but because there are so many phrases that use it in the plural with plural subjects (terga dare, terga vertere), the plural form of the word insinuates itself even when the subject is singular; the Lewis & Short dictionary even gives an example: terga vertit. So, blame it mostly on the meter, but it's not totally weird! :-)


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