Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sanctitas, Santitas

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 7.23. The contrast is between what nobody can do of their own will (live long) and what everybody can do if they choose (live well). Owen's advice is that if you want to live long, the best thing you can do is to live well! In the words of the title: if you can commit yourself to sanctitas, the sanitas will come.

Sanctitas, Sanitas
Nemo diu, bene quisque potest, at vult bene nemo,
Vivere. Visne diu vivere? Vive bene.

All with long Life, few to live well endeavour:
Wouldst thou live long? Live well, and live forever.

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:

sanctitas, sanctitātis f. - sacredness, holiness, virtue
sānitas, sānitātis f. - health, soundness of body, soundness of mind

at: but, but yet
bene: well
diū: for a long time
ne (enclitic): interrogative particle attached to the emphatic word in a question
nēmo: no one (gen. nullius, dat. nulli, abl. nullo or nulla > nullus -a -um)
possum posse potuī: be able
quis- quae- quidque: each one, everyone
vīvō vīvere vīxī victum: live
volō velle voluī: wish, be willing