Know yourself.

By Tobey, in 'Latin Phrases', Feb 12, 2007.

  1. Tobey New Member

    What would be the correct way to say; "Know yourself"...?
    So far I've come across 'Te nosce' and 'Temet nosce' and even 'Nosce te ipsum'...
  2. Andy Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Urbs Panamae
    All of those can work.

    Te nosce is lit: Know you(rself).
    Temet nosce: Know yourself.
    Nosce te ipsum: Know yourself!
  3. QMF Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, US
    I don't recommend the "Temet" version, simply because -met is so rare.
  4. Marius Magnus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Just how rare is "-met"? Under what circumstances was it used? In what time period, or epoch of linguistic evolution? Is there reason to doubt it was [ever] a legitimate suffix?
  5. QMF Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, US
    I've seen it in print, once:
    "Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis" (Aeneid 1.207) (An aside, primarily to Iynx: the passage keeps coming up! It's like the "nunc est bibendum"!)
    However, this does not mean it was a common component of the language at the time of the writing of the Aeneid. Vergil wrote with a significant amount of what were "archaic" usages at the time.
    My teacher just told us it meant that the word to which it was attached was emphasized heavily. In the case of being attached to the word vos it has additional metrical significance in that a spondee has a "dramatic" effect in dactylic hexameter.
  6. Marius Magnus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    OK, I'm trying to piece together the meaning of that line...would it be: "Endure, and guard yourselves from other things"?
  7. QMF Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, US
    Rebus...secundis is dative, and "secundus" is an interesting word. English doesn't actually have an equivalent. It's actually the future passive participle of sequi, at least in its original usage (which if I recall is in fact very very old, as I believe it was a word in "archaic" Latin. This is not to say that it is not proper classical Latin, because it is.) In short, it is translated as "[noun] to come". But it has an implication of these things to come being better, unlike futurus, which is simply saying that they are going to exist. So it's "endure, and guard yourselves for the sake of better things/things to come." It can sometimes mean favorable instead, such as "ventus secundus". And as you might have guessed, it is the word that is used for "second" in a sequence.
  8. Marius Magnus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    California next guess was "things to follow", actually, because I knew "secundus" was related to "sequence", "segue", etc.

    In English, the word for "second" was originally "other", before the borrowing from Old French, so that's why I guessed that.

    Random etymology tangent:

    "First" is a pretty interesting word. We know the word "fore", meaning "front", "before", etc. "First" is actually a superlative of "fore":

    fore | fore-more (former) | fore-most, forst (first)

    Incidentally, "former" was in common use in Old English to mean "first", contrasted with "other". ("Latter" of course comes from "later"). "Next" is a superlative also:

    nigh | nigher (near) | nighst (next)

    But of course, now we have the more regular series "near", "nearer", "nearest". German preserves the old series:

    nah | naeher | naechst

    Combine "nigh" with an old word "bide", meaning "to dwell" (related to "bor" in Old Norse, and also to "be"), using the agent form in -r, "bor" (one who bides), and you get: "neighbor" - "one who lives nearby".

    The German word for "first", incidentally, is "erst", which is related to the English "ere" ("earlier", "before"), and also a superlative.
  9. Cato Consularis

    • Consularis
    Chicago, IL
    Regarding -met, my OLD has several prose citations where it seems to be used as emphasis of a pronoun. However it also says "by poets sometimes added metri gratia with little idea of emphasis."
  10. Anonymous Guest

    Know Yourself

    The phrase has deep personal meaning to me and I am thinking of getting it tattooed in Latin along with a particular theme. The phrase is "Know Yourself".

    The best I can come up with is: "Teneo Vestrum Ego" but this seems to literally translate in English to "Know Your I" which of course is completely...bad.

    Forgive my ignorance on the subject. I had 1 semester of Latin in high school and did miserably. Any help will certainly be appreciated.
  11. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Cygnea, Gena
    Nosce te ipsum
  12. Anonymous Guest

    Excellent. Thanks Bitmap.

    ....I was way off on that one it appears.
  13. Interficio Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, USA
    You have: I hold of you (pl.)
  14. Anonymous Guest

    Know Yourself

    Hi all,

    I know this has been discussed on other threads but I am still a little confused. I would like the phrase "temet nosce" as a tattoo. I am aware that this is not the typical form of the phrase, and that there is some debate as to whether it is correct.

    The reason I would like this form, as opposed to "nosce te ipsam" (I'm a girl) is because a) "nosce te ipsam" just looks like a mis-spelling of "nosce te ipsum" and b) I like the idea of having just one word on each wrist.

    Since I am somewhat pedantic, I would like to be sure that what I am getting inked on my skin is correct. Could someone reassure me that "temet nosce" is a gender-neutral translation of "know yourself". Am I correct in thinking that "temet" is something similar to the modern French "toi-même"?

    Thanks :)
  15. Chamaeleo New Member

    Re: Temet... again (sorry)

    All of these are somewhat like ‘toi-même’, which comes from ‘tēmetipsimus’.

    I don't see how ‘nosce tē ipsam’ looks like a misspelling of ‘nosce tē ipsum’. That's like saying ‘française’ looks like a misspelling of ‘français’.

    ‘Tēmet’ (or ‘tēte’) does have the advantage of not agreeing for gender.
  16. Anonymous Guest

    Know thyself and seize the day...

    Hello all,

    Like other people, I'm thinking of getting a tattoo in latin with the saying in subject line. I'm thinking of it as a gentle reminder to myself to stop wasting time in life and get moving on what I want.

    I know the individual sayings "Nosce te ipsum," and "Carpe Diem," but I'm not sure how to put them together to get a proper sentence. Online translators are garbage for the most part so I'm coming here for help.

    The only thing that I'm thinking of doing differently is getting the initials of the completed saying on my forearm. I'm thinking of something like the SPQR tattoos legionnaires had traditionally gotten back then. Standard roman block typeset and all. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  17. Matthaeus Vemortuicida strenuus

    • Civis Illustris
    Re: Know thyself and seize the day...

    Finally, a reasonable Latin tattoo: SPQR, and probably the only genuine and one worth having. As for the two trite phrases, I would combine them with 'therefore'. Nosce te ipsum ergo carpe diem. I believe that makes sense. Know thyself, so seize the day. Or, seize the day in order that you may know yourself. Would that be better?
  18. Akela dat affluenter

    • Princeps Senatus
    Merged all "Know Yourself" topics.

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