Friday, February 17, 2012

Adversum notum noli contendere...

Here is today's distich by Cato (so-called), with English translations by Duff and Chase, 2.11.

Adversum notum noli contendere verbis;
Lis minimis verbis interdum maxima crescit.

Dispute not with thy friend, for often so
From trifling words most serious discords grow.

In wordy war do not engage thy friend;
For trivial words in mighty strife may end.

Here is the vocabulary:

adversum: against
notus: familiar, well-known
nolo: do not want, refuse
contendo: strive, contest with
verbum: word
lis: lawsuit, quarrel, dispute
minimus: smallest
interdum: sometimes
maximus: greatest, biggest
cresco: grow