Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Moribus Mutandis

Here is another distich by Cato (so-called), 1.7, with English translations by Duff and Chase.

Moribus Mutandis
Clemens et constans, ut res expostulat, esto;
Temporibus mores sapiens sine crimine mutat.

Be ever kind or stern to suit the time:
The wise may change his practice without crime.
(Chase)

Be mild or firm as circumstances claim:
A sage may change his outlook free from blame.
(Duff)

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are two words in this poem that are not on the DCC list:

clēmens (clementis): gentle, indulgent, merciful
expostulō, expostulāre: demand, require

cōnstō -stāre -stitī: agree; constat, it is established that (+ infin.)
crīmen -inis n.: verdict, accusation
et: and
mōs mōris m.: custom, habit; (pl.) character
mūtō -āre: change
rēs reī f.: thing (rēs pūblica, commonwealth; rēs familiāris, family property, estate; rēs mīlitāris, art of war; rēs novae, revolution)
sapiens -ntis.: wise man
sine: without (+ abl.)
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tempus -oris n.: time
ut, uti: as (+ indic.); so that, with the result that (+ subj.)

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