Vincit qui se vincit

By Anonymous, in 'Latin to English Translation', Aug 24, 2009.

  1. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    It is the same for both sexes.
  2. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    • Censor
    Well, to be specifically feminine, you could change qui to quae.


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  3. Taylor New Member

    Thanks for your quick answeres!
    Is it usual to be specifically feminine? Or would that underline it so that the rest of the phrase would be eclipsed?
  4. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    • Technicus Auxiliarius
    Vincit qui se vincit fits both genders well.
  5. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    • Censor
    As Iohannes said, qui works for both genders as a general statement. Qui is technically masculine, but Latin (as English invariably did until recently) uses the masculine forms to refer to people in general.

    Vincit qui se vincit - "He conquers, who conquers himself"
    It technically refers to a man, but it really means "he/she conquers, who conquers him/herself".

    If you use quae, it is no longer a general statement, but refers specifically to a woman (or girl, of course). That said, "qui" would probably be the better of the two.

    I'm sorry if I didn't make sense, I sometimes don't x_x
  6. Taylor New Member

    It does make sense!! Thanks, that was really helpful!
    I'll reconsider it but I incline to take quae because I'm a woman.
    Thanks again to all of you!
  7. Decimus Canus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    As Nikolaos says that will make it: "She conquers who conquers herself." Be aware as Bitmap pointed out earlier it is ambiguous and could mean "binds" or "fetters" rather than "conquers".
  8. Taylor New Member

    @ Decimus Canus
    Without in victoria it could be ambiguous? Is it unclear?
  9. Decimus Canus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    The ambiguity is usually resolved by context. Vincit qui se vincit is a well enough known phrase that the issue does not generally arise. To me as a Latinist, however, the fact that you had varied the phrase would indicate a degree of facility with Latin and would at least raise the question in my mind whether the ambiguity was intentional.

    There is only a small minority of people, however, who would even spot that. The principal meaning is clear enough and in the end it has the meaning you intend it to have.
  10. Richard Wilson New Member

    This phrase is telling us that in order to overcome anything or anybody one first has to overcome ego, one's selfish self. When you have accomplished that you can overcome anything.
    Good luck!
  11. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    Really helpful...
  12. scrabulista Consul

    • Consul
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Bis vincit qui se vincit = "he conquers twice who conquers himself."
    Bis vincit quae se vincit = "she conquers twice who conquers herself."

    If you are handing out advice to random passersby, use the masculine.
    I think retaining the bis = "twice" is preferable.

    Although I'm not sure what it means. It could mean "beating one's previous personal best."
    You ran the mile in 4:59 - previously you did no better than 5:00. You have earned a double victory.
  13. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    Location:
    England
    I think the relevance of bis is only fully apparent in the original, which has the circumstantial in victoria tagged on the end.
    Imber Ranae likes this.
  14. MamaShmee New Member

    This is one of my Family crests . . . Mother's/Father . . .
    Guess the phrase works for a lot of things, people, places.

    Attached Files:

  15. raceradio New Member

    Hi. I appreciated finding you folks here when looking for a good translation for 'vincit qui se vincit'. After reading through this thread, I feel that this 'bastardisation' falls short. Surely it misses what Publius Syrus intended in the Sententiae. I agree with Aurifex: 'bis' is only meaningful in light of 'invictoria' (which is more than simply a 'tag on' in the sentence). The 'invictoria' is key: winning (in competition with others) is essential, perhaps even essential to the winning over oneself. Simply defeating oneself does not bring bragging rights.

    Richard Wilson's point is helpful: "This phrase is telling us that in order to overcome anything or anybody one first has to overcome ego, one's selfish self. When you have accomplished that you can overcome anything." However, this is an anachronistic reading, appropriate to today's world of 'personal bests' (so well indicated by scrabulista). Surely Syrus intended something closer to the opposite of Wilson's interpretation or what today's 50-year-old triathlete believes: winning is what 'bis vincit qui se vincit invictoria' is all about. The ultimate victory over oneself can only be achieved after the victory over one's competitors.

    The 'bis' is indeed the weakest part of the sentence qua semantics. Winning and then again truly winning are what this sentence is about. Yet without the 'bis' the sentence is not complete, and without the 'invictoria' the sentence loses its true meaning. You do not get a 'double victory' by beating yourself and then beating yourself again (qua scrabulista). I think that the 'facility with the Latin' that Decimus Camus sees appears just too facile for me, regardless of whatever meaning one might be intending.

    If I was going to wear this tattooed on my person for the rest of my days, I would go for the whole nine yards: 'bis vincit qui se vincit invictoria'. Sometimes it is better to trust the language more than to simply rely on good intentions. (But then I would also feel as though I had completely misunderstood the meaning of the sentence by stamping it on my forehead for all the world to see.) This sentence is most certainly (wholly?) about hubris: You may well earn ('invictoria') bragging rights at some point in your life (few of us really do). While you may retain that right, foregoing its exercise (surpassing yourself on the top of Mount Everest) will earn you the 'bis'.

    In short, there are victors and their are true victors, heros and true heros.

    [Apologies. Quite likely I have gotten it all wrong. The corrections will be most appreciated.]

    PS I cannot help but PS this on the gender thing: If you are going to wear the graffiti of a dead language to share during your most intimate (or not) moments, then I really fail to see how forcing a sex change operation ameliorates an impoverished phrase. The sentence, in its delivery and its intent, is neither masculine or feminine. Certainly its meaning is gender blind. You cannot turn a bastard into a bitch by adding (or dropping) chromosomes in grammar.
    Last edited by raceradio, Feb 11, 2014
  16. Abednego New Member

    Completely useless trivia: the motto in the stained glass of the castle in Disney's 'Beauty & the Beast' is Vincit Qui Se Vincit (you see it in the prologue).

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