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Latin/latin phrase

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Question
On our mantle over the fireplace in the kitchen is this inscription: Vivite Lurcones, Comedones, Vivite Ventris. We have no idea what this means and would like to have an explanation for guests. I have googled it but haven't found a satisfactory explanation. Please tell us as much as you can about this phrase. Thanks

Answer
Hello,

the Latin  phrase “Vivite Lurcones, Comedones, Vivite Ventres”(not “ventris”) is a quotation from Gaius Lucilius (c.160 BC – c.103 BC), the earliest Roman satirist, of whose writings only fragments remain, such this one we read in Nonius Marcellus, De compendiosa doctrina (‘handbook of instruction’), book 11, chapter 9.

So, “Vivite Lurcones, Comedones, Vivite Ventres”  means: ”Enjoy life you gluttons, gormandizers, enjoy life you bellies!” as a satirical exhortation to consume gluttonously food and drink.

Please note that:

-VIVITE (2nd.person plural, present imperative of VIVO, I live/I enjoy life) = Enjoy life

-LURCONES (nominative plural of the noun LURCO, 3rd.declension) = you gluttons

-COMEDONES( nominative plural of the noun COMEDO, 3rd.declension)= gormandizers

-VIVITE (2nd.person plural, present imperative of VIVO, I live/I enjoy life) = Enjoy life

-VENTRES ((nominative plural of the noun VENTER, 3rd.declension) = bellies

Hope all is clear enough.
Best regards,
Maria
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P.S. Nonius Marcellus was a Roman grammarian of the 4th or 5th century AD. His only surviving work is a kind of dictionary or encyclopaedia in 20 books. Little is known about him.

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Maria

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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