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Roman Mottoes

When Caroline signs copies of her books, she always puts in a Latin motto.
Each book has its own motto. Here they are:

cave canem The Thieves of Ostia 'Beware of the dog'
from dog mosaics found in and around Pompeii
cave_canem_tshirt.jpg
fortes fortuna iuvat The Secrets of Vesuvius 'Fortune favours the brave'
Terence (2nd century BC) quoted by Pliny the Elder (according to Pliny the Younger)
volare! The Pirates of Pompeii 'to fly!'
Dean Martin sings this (but it really does mean 'to fly' in Latin)
lacrimae rerum The Assassins of Rome 'things have tears' or 'sad things happen'
Virgil (Aeneid I.462)
morbo medeor The Dolphins of Laurentum 'I am healed of my disease'
part of the Latin rite of the Meditrinalia
carpe diem The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina 'Seize the day' or 'Go for it!'
Horace (Odes I.11)
ars longa... The Enemies of Jupiter 'the skill lasts a long time...'
attributed to Hippocrates, the whole quote: 'ars longa, vita brevis' art is long, life is short
habet! The Gladiators from Capua 'he's been hit!'
literally: 'he has': the cry that went up from spectators in the arena at first blood
Hectora credas The Colossus of Rhodes 'you would think he was Hector'
Martial (Epigrams XIV: 212) from a poem about a dwarf
gnothi seauton (Greek) The Fugitive from Corinth 'know yourself'
inscription on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi (below: in a Greek inscription)

gnothiseauton.jpg
summum bonum The Sirens of Surrentum 'the highest good'
Seneca and other Stoic philosophers strove to achieve this
naufragium! The Charioteer of Delphi 'shipwreck!'
what the crowd shouted at the Circus Maximus when a chariot crashed
pater noster The Code of Romulus 'our father'
beginning of the Lord's Prayer in Latin, and clue to the mystery
vita brevis The Slave-girl from Jerusalem 'life is short'
'life is short' part of the Hippocratic Oath
aliquid novi The Beggar of Volubilis 'something new'
from the often misquoted statement by Pliny the Elder who did not say 'out of Africa' but rather:
semper aliquid novi Africam adferre: 'Africa always produces something new.' Pliny NH 8.vii.42

diu vivat Caesar! Trimalchio's Feast & Other Mini-Mysteries 'Long live Caesar!'
a saying of Siptax the parrot
bonum iter From Ostia to Alexandria - Travels with Flavia Gemina 'Bon Voyage!'
literally: 'good journey' (bon voyage!)
tinea sum The Scribes from Alexandria 'I am a bookworm'
answer to a Latin riddle
diligamus invicem The Prophet from Ephesus 'Let us love one another '
a saying of St John from 1 John 4:7
ne musca quidem The Man from Pomegranate Street 'not even a fly'
what Domitian's secretary replied, after someone asked if anyone was with the Emperor

Ave! The Legionary from Londinium 'hello' or 'farewell'
could be the end... or just the beginning!


If you liked these mottoes, you'll love these books:
latinmatterscover.jpgaesopsfables.jpg