Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lingua Una, Aures Duae


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Lingua Una, Aures Duae
Ut nos pauca loqui, plura autem audire moneret,
Linguam unam natura, duas dedit omnibus aures.


Source: Marcus Antonius Muretus (1526-1585), Juvenilia. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter. I have seen the aphorism attributed both to Zeno of Citium and also to Epictetus; I am not sure of an Epictetus citation (even though it is widely repeated on the Internet), but the source for the Zeno attribution is Diogenes Laertius: διὰ τοῦτο δύο ὦτα ἔχομεν, στόμα δὲ ἕν, ἵνα πλείονα μὲν ἀκούωμεν, ἥττονα δὲ λέγωμεν.

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

In order to warn us (ut moneret nos) to speak little (loqui pauca) but to listen to more (autem audire plura), nature has given to everyone (natura dedit omnibus) one tongue (unam linguam), two ears (duas aures).

audiō -īre -īvī/-iī -itum: hear, listen to
auris -is f.: ear
autem: moreover, but, however
dō dare dedī datum: give
duo: two
lingua -ae f.: tongue; language
loquor loquī locūtus sum: speak, talk
moneō monēre monuī monitum: warn, advise
nātūra -ae f.: nature
nōs nostrum/nostrī nobis nōs: we
omnis -e: all, every, as a whole
paucī -ae -a: few
plūs plūris n.: a greater amount or number, more
ūnus -a -um: one
ut, uti: as (+ indic.); so that, with the result that (+ subj.)





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