Sunday, July 15, 2012

Homo Ventus

107     -     108     -     109

Homo Ventus
Nil nisi ventus homo est, hostis sibi maximus ipse,
   Et totae vitae scit nihil in spatio.

Source: Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), Anthologia Graeca, vol. I. The poem is attributed to Palladas. Meter: Elegiac. The spirit of this poem is very much like what you find in the (anti)-wisdom book, Ecclesiastes, in the Hebrew Bible.

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

Man is (homo est) nothing but wind (nil nisi ventus), he himself (ipse) is his own greatest enemy (sibi maximus hostis) and he knows nothing (et scit nihil) in the length of his whole life (in spatio totae vitae).

et: and
homo hominis m.: human being
hostis -is m./f.: stranger, enemy
in: in, on (+ abl.); into, onto (+ acc)
ipse ipsa ipsum: him- her- itself
māximus -a -um: greatest; māximē: most, especially, very much
nihil, nīl: nothing; not at all
nihil, nīl: nothing; not at all
nisi/nī: if not, unless
sciō -īre -īvī/-iī -ītum: know
spatium -iī n.: space
sui, sibi, sē: him- her- itself
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tōtus -a -um: whole, entire
ventus -ī m.: wind
vīta -ae f.: life