January 27, 2007

Ex duris gloria

In English: From hard things, glory.

I thought this little motto would be a good follow up to yesterday's proverb about dura duris and "tough love" in Latin.

This is a popular Latin motto, and I was able to find some examples of the motto clearly stamped on coins.

For example, here is a German 17th century 2/3 thaler coin where you can easily read the Latin motto. Depicted with the motto are some ships at sea, which is definitely a difficult and risky business and that can perhaps results in glory, but which might also result in disaster. If you're interested in purchasing the coin, it looks like it is available for $475. I don't collect coins, so I don't know if that is a good price or not!

I also found a 17th-century silver medal that shows the words EX DURIS GLORIA with ships at sea. This one is even less expensive, if you're interested in a purchase!

Another coin image that I found online is another 17th-century German coin, this one for 1 1/2 thalers. It's a bit harder to make out the words here, but it's apparently a very nice coin, since it's going for $1500.

There was a student in my Biblical Greek class a few years ago who was collecting ancient coins from every city mentioned in the New Testament. What an amazing hobby! He explained that it is possible to acquire coins quite cheaply if you are willing to settle for slightly damaged coins or coins that are badly rubbed away on one side. At the end of the Greek class, we all met at his house and he gave us a showing of the coins he had collected so far. Everybody was able to practice their Greek by reading words and phrases that they could make out on these ancient coins. What a powerful learning experience! I wonder if anyone has created an online gallery of ancient coins focused on the usefulness of the coins' inscriptions for Greek and Latin language-learning? That would be a wonderful resource. If you know of something like that out there, leave a comment here at the blog!

Meanwhile, since I haven't won the lottery lately, I better close all these browser windows, since I don't have any money for buying pretty coins. Luckily, there's no major outlay involved in listening to this bit of audio, so here is today's saying read out loud:

146. Ex duris gloria.

The number here is the number for this proverb in Latin Via Proverbs: 4000 Proverbs, Mottoes and Sayings for Students of Latin.

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