Monday, March 19, 2012

Vita Aliena Magistra

68     -     69     -     70

Vita Aliena Magistra
Multorum disce exemplo, quae facta sequaris,
Quae fugias: vita est nobis aliena magistra.

From others' actions seek to find the clue
To what thou best mayst shun and best mayst do.

From men's behavior learn what to pursue
Or shun; the life of others gives the cue.

Source: The Distichs of Cato (4th century), 3.13. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter. Note the use of the subjunctive in the indirect questions introduced by quae: quae facta sequaris and quae [facta] fugias.

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

Learn (disce) from the example of many (exemplo multorum) which deeds you should pursue (quae facta sequaris), which you should flee (quae fugias): another person's life (vita aliena) is our teacher (est nobis magistra).

aliēnus -a -um: foreign, strange
discō -ere didicī: learn
exemplum -ī n.: example, sample, copy
faciō facere fēcī factum: do, make
fugiō fugere fūgī fugitum: flee, escape
magister, magistrī m.: master, chief
multus -a -um: much, many; multō, by far
nōs nostrum/nostrī nobis nōs: we
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
sequor sequī secūtus sum: follow
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
vīta -ae f.: life