Thursday, November 10, 2011


11     -     12     -     13

Cur similis similem sibi quaerit, amicus amicum?
   Uno nemo potest in pede stare diu.

Why seekst Likes like Friends friend? Because that none
Can long stand stedfast on one foot alone.

Source: John Owen (c.1564-c.1628), Epigrammata, 4.47. Meter: Elegiac. The English version is by Thomas Harvey. Owen addresses this poem to his friend Thomas Bridges, who was also a student at Oxford, having matriculate from Queen's College in 1591. The idea is that like seeks like and friend seeks friend because without a friend, you are like someone trying to stand on one foot - something you will not be able to do for very long!

Why (cur) does like seek what is like itself (similis similem sibi quaerit), why does friend seek friend (amicus amicum)? No one can stand (nemo potest stare ) for a long time (diu) on one foot (in uno pede).

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

amīcitia -ae f.: friendship
amīcus -a -um: friendly; (as subst.) friend
cūr: why?
diū: for a long time
in: in, on (+ abl.); into, onto (+ acc)
nēmo: no one (gen. nullius, dat. nulli, abl. nullo or nulla > nullus -a -um)
pēs pedis m.: foot
possum posse potuī: be able
quaerō -rere -sīvī-situm: seek, inquire
similis -e: like, similar
stō stāre stetī statum: stand
sui, sibi, sē: him- her- itself
ūnus -a -um: one