Friday, July 20, 2012

Vitam Regit Fortuna, Non Sapientia


142     -     143     -     144


Vitam Regit Fortuna, Non Sapientia
Caeca dea est rerum rectrix; Fortuna vocatur:
Non minus at caeci, quos dea caeca regit.


A blind goddess rules the world, called Fortune.
But they are no less blind whom the blind goddess rules.

Source: John Owen (c.1564-c.1628), Epigrammata, 12.20. The English version is by Thomas Harvey. Meter: Elegiac. For the traditional depiction of the goddess Fortuna blindfolded, see the image below.

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:

rectrix (rectrīcis, f.): governess, leader, guide

at: but, but yet
caecus -a -um: blind, unseeing; dark, obscure
deus -ī m.; dea -ae f. god; goddess
fortūna -ae f.: fortune
minus -oris n.: a smaller number or amount, less; (adv.) minus: to a smaller extent, less
nōn: not
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
regō regere rēxī rectum: guide, rule
rēs reī f.: thing (rēs pūblica, commonwealth; rēs familiāris, family property, estate; rēs mīlitāris, art of war; rēs novae, revolution)
sapientia -ae f.: wisdom
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
vīta -ae f.: life
vocō -āre: call


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