Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vita Quasi Ventus

106     -     107     -     108

Vita Quasi Ventus 
Quid prodest homini, si vivat saecula centum?
Cum moritur, vitam transisse putat quasi ventum.

Source: Andreas Gartner, Proverbialia Dicteria (1578). Meter: Dactylic Hexameter.  Note the perfect infinitive in indirect statement: transisse. There is also a nice end-line rhyme: centum-ventum.

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

centum: one hundred
cum: with (prep. + abl.); when, since, although (conjunction + subj.)
homo hominis m.: human being
morior morī mortuus sum: die
prōsum -desse -fuī: be of use, do good, help (+ dat.)
puto -āre: think, suppose
quasi: as if
qui, quae, quod: who, which, what; quis quid: who? what? which?
saeculum -ī n.: generation, age, century
sī: if
trānseo -īre -iī -itum: go across
ventus -ī m.: wind
vīta -ae f.: life
vīvo -ere vīxī victum: live

Life is Like the Wind
What does it profit a man (quid prodest homini) if he were to live (si vivat) one hundred years? (centum saecula) When he dies (cum moritur), he thinks (putat) that his life has passed by (vita transisse) like the wind (quasi ventum).

Quid pro~dest homi~ni, si ~ vivat ~ saecula ~ centum?
Cum mori~tur, vi~tam tran~sisse pu~tat quasi ~ ventum.