February 09, 2007

Victrix malorum patientia est

In English: Patience is the conqueror of evils.

In yesterday's proverb, we had the great word imperatrix, so I thought I would follow that up with a proverb featuring the word victrix. It's also a proverb that expresses a very positive sentence: the way to beat trouble is precisely by putting up with them, patientia. Endurance brings victory.

You no doubt know the Latin word victor, which gives us the English word "victor." The word victrix is the feminine form of the word because the subject of the sentence is a feminine noun, patientia.

If we were to create an English equivalent for victrix, we'd have to say "victress," which is actually found in the Oxford English Dictionary, that great repository of words you may not have never heard before but which have indeed been used by someone, somewhere, sometime in English. My favorite of the citations is from Thomas Heywood, circa 1637: "She that's crownd Victresse by the Trojan Boy, For meed this golden Apple shall enioy," obviously a reference to the Judgement of Paris (the "Trojan Boy") who awarded the apple to the goddess Venus, making her the "Victresse" in the contest to see who was the fairest.

To the victress go the spoils!

So, with praise for victorious Patience, here is today's proverb read out loud:

283. Victrix malorum patientia est.

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

If you are reading this via RSS: The Flash audio content is not syndicated via RSS; please visit the Latin Audio Proverbs blog to listen to the audio. You can also hear this saying read aloud at a Polish website: Wladyslawa Kopalinskiego Slownik wyraz?w obcych i zwrot?w obcojezycznych (weblink).
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2 comments:

Latin Teacher,AZ said...

What happens when the subject is neuter?

Laura Gibbs said...

I'm not sure the neuter subjects are allowed to reproduce rhetorically! ha ha.

but seriously, neuter nouns go with masculine, NOT feminine - which makes sense, of course, since feminine nouns are distinctively different from the masculine-neuter nouns which have so much overlap in their declension.

for example, Tempus est vitae magister, "time is the teacher of life." likewise, Tempus est optimus iudex, Time is the best judge, and Verbum proditor animi, "speech is the revealer of the mind." there's no discrepancy in using a male occupation (magister, iudex, proditor) for these neuter nouns. the neuters "feel" more masculine than they do feminine.