Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unus Nihil, Duo Multa Possunt

This poem is from the proverbial distichs of Georgius Carolides (1569-1612), which you can read online at the University of Mannheim. The message of this poem is based on the contrast between mental powers (mentis acumen) and physical powers (dextra) - put them together, and you will have a combination that is stronger than either of the two alone!

Unus Nihil, Duo Multa Possunt
Per te nil facies; si mentis acumine polles,
Qui valeat dextra, iunge tibi socium.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are two words in this poem that are not on the DCC list:

acūmen (acūminis, n.): point, sting, sharpness
polleō, pollēre: be strong, prevail, be rich in

dexter -tra -trum: right; dextera -ae f.: right hand
duo: two
faciō facere fēcī factum: do, make
iungō iungere iūnxī iūnctum: join
mēns mentis f.: mind
multus -a -um: much, many; multō, by far
nihil, nīl: nothing; not at all
per: through (+acc.)
possum posse potuī: be able
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
sī: if
socius -a -um: friendly, allied; socius -i m.: partner, comrade
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)
ūnus -a -um: one
valeō valēre valuī: be strong, excel, be valid, prevail; valē: farewell!