Friday, April 13, 2012

Vita Hominis

162     -     163     -     164

Vita Hominis
Cum tibi vel socium vel fidum quaeris amicum,
Non tibi fortuna est hominis, sed vita petenda.

Whene'er a trusty friend thou dost desire,
Not of his wealth but of his life enquire.

Seeking a mate or friend who will be true,
A man's life, not his fortune, you must view.

Source: The Distichs of Cato (4th century), 4.15. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter. Note the parallel construction in the second line: non tibi fortuna est (petenda) hominis, sed (tibi) vita (hominis) petenda (est).

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

fīdus, -a, -um: faithful, loyal

amīcus -a -um: friendly; (as subst.) friend
cum: with (prep. + abl.); when, since, although (conjunction + subj.)
fortūna -ae f.: fortune
homo hominis m.: human being
nōn: not
peto -ere petīvī petītum: seek, aim at
quaero -ere -sīvī -situm: seek, inquire
sed: but
socius -a -um: friendly, allied; socius -i m. partner, comrade
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)
vel: or else, or; even; vel . . . vel, either… or
vīta -ae f.: life