Friday, July 13, 2012

Vera Vivendi Ratio

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Vera Vivendi Ratio
Maiorem metuas; similem fer; parce minori:
   Tuta erit his mediis vita futura tribus.

Source: A.F. Van Vlaenderen, Epigrammata (1666), 136. Meter: Elegiac. Note the use of the subjunctive metuas as a type of command, parallel with the imperatives fer and parce.

You should fear the person who is greater than you (metuas maiorem); put up with your equal (fer similem); show mercy to your lesser (parce minori): your future life will be safe (vita futura erit tuta) by these three means (his mediis tribus).

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

ferō ferre tulī lātum: bear, carry
hic haec hoc: this; hōc: on this account
māior -ius: greater, older; maiōres -um: ancestors
medius -a -um: middle, central
metuō metuere metuī: to fear, to dread
minus -oris n.: a smaller number or amount, less; (adv.) minus: to a smaller extent, less
parcō parcere pepercī: spare, be sparing of (+ dat.)
ratio -ōnis f.: method, plan, reason
similis -e: like, similar
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
trēs tria: three
tutus -a -um: safe, protected
vērus -a -um: true; vērē, truly
vīta -ae f.: life
vīvō vīvere vīxī victum: live