More Latin Mottos

Gunnora Hallakarva gunnora at
Sat Dec 14 17:08:08 PST 1996

I recently received requests to translate the following mottos into Latin:

Glory is fleeting, Honor is forever.
(Gloria brevis, Honor longa)


Be as good as your word.
("Quam probus esto quam tu fides" or "Quam probus, quam fides")

The first motto is parallel to the famous epigram, "Vita brevis, Ars longa"
(Life is short, Art endures).  If you want a motto in this format (i.e., X
is temporary, y is permanent) you can simply substitute in the appropriate
pair of nouns.  Since they're in the nominative case, all you have to do is
use the word as it will appear in the Latin dictionary, no grammatical
finagling required.

The second motto is listed in two forms.  The first is the grammatical
version, the second is a shortened version which is much more
"motto-compatible."  Latin epigrams frquently can leave out grammatical
constructions essential to a sentence and still be understood.  The
"grammatical" sentence reads "You should be as good as your given word"
while the second is literally "As good as the sworn word" ... like the first
motto listed above, there are no verbs (the grammatical version of "Glory is
fleeting, Honor endures" would be "Gloria brevis est, Honor longa est.")

Stefan le Rous has been collecting these Latin mottos in his Rialto archive
for others to use as mottos if they wish.  Hopefully, he will add the
present pair to the list there as well.

By the way, Dietrich, you asked me for a translation and I've lost the
posting with your motto.  Send it again and I'll actually translate it this

Wassail and God Jul,

(Who is seriously considering translating, "The joys of peerage are
fleeting, Circles go on forever, and ever, and ever..." to use as my own motto!)

Wassail and God Jul,

Gunnora Hallakarva
Ek eigi visa (th)ik hversu o(dh)lask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna
heldr hversu na Hersis-A(dh)al

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