Friday, May 18, 2012

Pro Re Nata

Here is today's emblem and distich by Joachim Camerarius, 3:33. The poem alludes to the famous story of the turtle who wanted to go flying, something that he was not born to do. The best way, says the poems, is not to be slow as a turtle or swift as an eagle but to find the middle way.

Pro Re Nata
Et tardus nimis, et praeceps nimis esse caveto:
Ille sapit medium qui inter utrumque tenet.

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:

praeceps, praecipitis - headlong, steep, swift

caveo -ēre cāvī cautum: be on guard, beware
et: and
ille, illa, illud: that
inter: between, among; during (+ acc.)
medius -a -um: middle, central
nāscor nāscī nātus sum: be born; nātus, son
nimius -a -um: too much, excessive; nimis or nimium, excessively
prō: for, on behalf of, in proportion to (+abl.)
qui, quae, quod: who, which, what; quis quid: who? what? which?
rēs reī f.: thing (rēs pūblica, commonwealth; rēs familiāris, family property, estate; rēs mīlitāris, art of war; rēs novae, revolution)
sapio sapere sapīvī: be wise
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tardus -a -um: slow, sluggish, lingering
teneo -ēre -uī tentum: hold
uter-, utra-, utrumque: each of two