Friday, July 29, 2011

Aliquid ex Nihil

Here is another distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 7.120.

Aliquid ex Nihil
Addideris unum nihilo, nihil inde creatur;
Adde uni nihilum, nascitur inde decas.

Add one to nothing, nothing’s left, but then
Add one to nothing, thence ariseth ten.

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

decas (decadis, f.): decade, ten
nihilum (nihilī, n.): nothing

addō -dere -didī -ditum: give to
aliquis -quae -quod: some, any; si quis, si quid: anyone who, anything that
creō -āre: produce, create; elect, choose
ex ē: out of, from (+ abl.)
inde: from there, from then
nāscor nāscī nātus sum: be born
nihil, nīl: nothing; not at all
ūnus -a -um: one