Sunday, July 22, 2012

Scientia Sine Prudentia Nihil

Here is an emblem and distich by Bornitius, 69. I'm not quite sure what to make of the chickens: chickens are not especially wise - but I'm not quite sure how they represent a lack of forethought. Any suggestions?

Scientia Sine Prudentia Nihil
Quid rem scire iuvat, nisi scis quo tempore agenda
Prudenter, quo sit res quoque tuta loco?

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:

prūdenter: wisely, cautiously, carefully
prūdentia (prūdentiae, f.): foresight, wisdom

agō agere ēgī āctum: drive, do, act
iuvō iuvāre iūvī iūtum: help, assist; please, delight
locus -ī m.: place; loca (n. pl.) region
nihil, nīl: nothing; not at all
nisi/nī: if not, unless
que (enclitic) - and
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)
scientia -ae f.: knowledge
sciō -īre -īvī/-iī -ītum: know
sine: without (+ abl.)
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tempus -oris n.: time
tutus -a -um: safe, protected


  1. The hen in the emblem, which lays eggs in a faulty sieve, is imprudent because, although she knows how to lay eggs, she has chosen an unsafe place, to the point that the eggs break as they fall to the ground.

    1. Aha, that makes sense: so the broken eggs are because she chose her place unwisely. I wonder if the man coming through the door means she has somehow chosen her time unwisely too...?


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