Thursday, March 15, 2007

Greek phrases and proverbs I

1. Ἀγεωμέτρητος μηδεὶς εἰσίτω
"Let no-one without knowledge of geometry enter". Motto over the entrance to Plato's Academy.

2. Ἀεὶ Λιβύη φέρει τι κακόν / καινόν
Libya always bears something evil / new", Aristotle, in Historia Animalium.

3. Ἀεὶ κολοιὸς παρὰ κολοιῷ ἱζάνει
"A jackdaw is always found near a jackdaw", i.e. "birds of a feather flock together."

4. Ἀεὶ ὁ θεὸς γεωμετρεῖ
"Always god geometrizes", Plato

5. Ἀεὶ ὁ θεὸς ὁ μέγας γεωμετρεῖ τό σύμπαν
"Always the great god applies geometry to everything", A mnemonic for π (pi); Ἀεί =3, ὁ=1, θεός=4, ὁ=1, μέγας=5, γεωμετρεῖ=9,τό=2, σύμπαν=6

6. Ἀετοῦ γῆρας, κορυδοῦ νεότης
"An eagle's old age (is worth) a sparrow's youth".

7. Ἀνάγκᾳ δ’οὐδὲ θεοὶ μάχονται
"Even the Gods do not fight necessity", Simonides.

9. Ἄνθρωπος μέτρον
"Man the measure (of all things)", motto of Protagoras.

10. Ἅπαξ λεγόμενον
"Once said", i.e. a word that only occurs once in a text or body of literature.

11. Ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός
Deus ex machina.

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