Tuesday, January 31, 2012

De Deo

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 3.15. What a great little poem to remember the meanings of tantus and talis, as represented by the masters Euclid (for quantity) and Aristotle (for quality) - both of whom can be seen in Raphael's painting of the "School of Athens" below.

De Deo
Tantus es, Euclides quantum comprendere nescit,
Et talis, qualem nescit Aristoteles.

So great thy Greatness Euclide could not show:
And such as Aristotle did not know.

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

Aristoteles - Aristotle
comprehendō, -ere, comprehendī, comprehensum - catch, take hold, grasp
Euclīdes - Euclid

dē: down from, about, concerning (+ abl.)
deus -ī m.; dea -ae f. god; goddess
et: and
nesciō -scīre: not know, be ignorant
quālis -e: of what kind? what?
quantus -a -um: (interr.) how great? (rel.) of what size, amount, etc.
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tālis tale: such
tantus -a -um: so great, so much; tantum: only