Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quid Saxo Magis Durum?

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Quid Saxo Magis Durum?
Quid magis est durum saxo, quid mollius unda?
Dura tamen molli saxa cavantur aqua.

Source: Adagiorum Maxime Vulgarium Thesaurus (1730). Meter: Elegiac.
[from Ovid's Ars Amatoria I:475–76.]

 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:

What is (quid est) harder (magis durum) than stone (saxo)? What is softer than water (quid mollius unda)? But hard stones (dura tamen saxa) are worn away (cavantur) by soft water (molli aqua).

cavō, cavāre: hollow out, carve

aqua -ae f. water
dūrus -a -um: hard, tough, harsh
magis: more
mollis -e: soft, yielding, gentle
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
saxum -ī n.: rock, cliff, crag
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tamen: nevertheless, still
unda -ae f.: wave, flowing water, water