Stante pede

Cochlea

New Member
Hi,
I have been enjoying some of the discussions here that have popped up in Google search results. I am working my way through the second Asterix book (Falx Aurea). My first question concerns Stante pede, which seems to be translated consistently as 'immediately' but is only found in Germanic language sites (and one Slovak site). There is a famous Latin citation dating to Frederick the Great: Stante pede morire melius est quam flexis genibus vivere, but that obviously has the meaning of standing, not immediately (although one could see how they could coincide). Rubricastellanus himself notes: Cicero, si hoc audiret, in sepulcro rotaretur. I am, therefore, presuming that this is some sort of back translation from German into Latin, but I would love to know the origin of stante pede with the meaning of immediately. Thanks
 

Araneus

Umbraticus Lector
I am not familiar with Stante pede as a (classical) Latin idiom, but I know it from Norwegian and German. In Norwegian "På stående fot" ("on standing foot"), means "immediately" or "here and now". In German, there is "Stehendes Fußes", also meaning "immediately". It is commonly used in phrases like "I can't say for sure on standing foot" (i.e. I would have to go and check the facts first).
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
There is a famous Latin citation dating to Frederick the Great: Stante pede morire melius est quam flexis genibus vivere
I can't tell whether you're saying it dates back to Frederick the Great's time or is attributed to him. Where did you find it? He appears to have been mocked for his lack of Latin (and other languages). This credits him with such monstrosities as stante pede morire and de gustibus non disputandus; whether apocryphal or not, the famous Latin citation would appear to be beyond him.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
For "immediately" there is, for example, extemplo, statim, and e vestigio. The last two seem closest to stante pede in that statim is related to sto and e vestigio has to do with one's foot(ing).

Could Frederick the Great really have said that thing? I'd always thought "I'd rather die standing than live on my knees" and variations thereof were modern sayings.
 

Cochlea

New Member
Thanks for the German and Norwegian; I was unable to find those terms. I am guessing the German predates the Latin since the expression is not found much outside that area.

Googling " Stante pede morire " will turn up mostly one source, a Scottish article(?) republished many times. The sentence reads: He now and then affected to quote Latin sentences, and produced such exquisite Ciceronian phrases as these : — ' Stante pede morire,' — • De gustibus non disputandus. It does not say where he got them from, but since he did not know Latin, such phases seem to be the extent of his Latin knowledge.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
Could Frederick the Great really have said that thing? I'd always thought "I'd rather die standing than live on my knees" and variations thereof were modern sayings.
Indeed, variously attributed, mostly to a Spanish original. Zapata seems to be the oldest I can find, but even that seems rather vague.
 
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