Thursday, February 9, 2012

Quid Novi?

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 5.21. This epigram juxtaposes Christopher Columbus with the "New World," and King Solomon, who said there is nothing new under the sun - words attributed to Solomon as the author of the Biblical Book of Ecclesiastes (1.9).

Quid Novi?
Nil ait esse novum Salomon sub sole; Columbus
In veteri mundum repperit orbe novum.

“There’s nothing new,” saith Solomon; yet, bold
Columbus found a new World in our old

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

Columbus - Columbus
Salomon, -ōnis m. - Solomon

aiō: say, affirm, say yes; ut aiunt: as they say
in: in, on (+ abl.); into, onto (+ acc)
mundus -ī m.: world, universe, heavens
nihil, nīl: nothing; not at all
novus -a -um: new
orbis -is m.: circle; orbis terrārum: world
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
reperiō -perīre -perī -pertum: find, find out
sōl sōlis m.: sun
sub: under, close to (+acc. or abl.)
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
vetus veteris: old