Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Theologus: Politicus

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 2.43. Owen is reveling as usual in parallels in paradox. He says to the learned divine, "your knowledge" (scire tuum) is nothing unless someone else knows that you know. As for the politician, things are even worse because secrecy is crucial: if anyone else knows, your knowing is nothing!

Theologus: Politicus
Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter.
Si sciat hoc alter, scire tuum nihil est.

To know thine’s nothing, if not known ’tis known.
If known ’tis nothing then to know thine own.

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:

polīticus -a -um - belonging to the state, political, civil; politician
theologus, theologī m. - theologian

alter altera alterum: other of two
hic haec hoc: this; hōc: on this account
nihil, nīl: nothing; not at all
nisi/nī: if not, unless
sciō -īre -īvī/-iī -ītum: know
sī: if
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)
tuus -a -um: your