Wednesday, November 23, 2011

De Statu Hominum

494     -     495     -     496

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 4:255. This epigram expresses a metaphor you can often see in images of the "Wheel of Fortune" also: when someone goes up, someone else goes down - just like your feet go up and down, alternately, when you are walking.

De Statu Hominum
Deprimitur nisi pes alter, non tollitur alter.
Sic casu alterius tollitur alter homo.

If one Foot down, Then th’ other is above:
Thus one mans Fall, anothers Rise doth prove.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are two words which are not on the DCC list:

dēprimo -ere, depressi, depressum - suppress, force down, depress
status, statūs m. - posture, position, condition, state

alter altera alterum: other of two
cāsus -ūs m.: a fall; chance, accident;
dē: down from, about, concerning (+ abl.)
homo hominis m.: human being
nisi/nī: if not, unless
nōn: not
pēs pedis m.: foot
sīc: in this manner, thus; sīc . . . ut, in the same way as
tollo -ere sustulī sublātum: raise up, destroy