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QUESTION: Hi Maria,

Hope you can help me - will really like to know what this quote is in Latin:

"The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all"

thanks :)

ANSWER: Hello,

“The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all" can be translated as follows:

“Non in aeternum audaces vivere possunt, at cauti omnino non vivunt”.

Read more below.

Best regards,
Maria
____________________________________________________________________________
Note that:

-The brave = AUDACES (nominative plural of the adjective AUDAX)

-may =POSSUNT (3rd.person plural, present indicative of POSSUM, I may/I can)

-not =NON (negative adverb)

-live =VIVERE (present infinitive of VIVO, I live)

-forever = IN AETERNUM

-but =AT (conjunction used in adding an entirely opposite thought)

-the cautious =CAUTI (nominative plural of the adjective CAUTUS)

-do not live =NON (negative adverb) VIVUNT (3rd.person plural, present indicative of VIVO)

-at all = OMNINO (adverb).

Please note that Latin word order can be variable as a Latin is an inflected language where synctatic relationships are indicated by the endings, not by the order of the words.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much for this translation. I was thinking - if there is a more traditional Latin quote which has the same meaning/ message - but maybe in a different way?

Thanks so much for all your help.

Best Regards

Heidi

Answer
The only Latin quote I can suggest is “Audentes fortuna iuvat” (literally,“Fortune favours the bold”) that we read  in Virgil’s Aeneid, book 10, line 284, where Turnus, the king of the Rutuli, an Italic tribe, and the chief antagonist of the hero Aeneas, urges his soldiers  to be audacious  and fight boldly against Aeneas for fortune will help the brave.

However, such a Virgil’s quotation does not corresponds exactly to “The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all", as you can see.

Bye,
Maria

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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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