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I've scoured the net and found many answers to my question- I just don't trust them due to the variety of responses. My question is: What is the most correct translation of "Death Before Dishonor"?- Potius mori quam foedari, mors ante foedari, using dedecus, infamium, etc, etc... Thank you!


“Death before dishonor” can be translated correctly as follows:

-“Mors ante infamiam” (literal)
-“Mors ante dedecus” (literal)
-“Mors ante ignominiam” (literal)

Note that "infamiam", "dedecus" and "ignominiam" are in the accusative case as they follow the preposition "ante" which requires the accusative case.

As you can see, the three above mentioned Latin sentences are similar except for the last word  that can be “infamiam”(accusative) as well as “dedecus”(accusative) or “ignominiam” (accusative),  simply because Latin can use indifferently  one of these nouns as they all mean “dishonor”.

Moreover you can also say:

-“Mors potius quam infamia” (literally, “Death rather than dishonor”)
-“Mors potius quam dedecus" (literally, “Death rather than dishonor”)
-"Mors potius quam ignominia" (literally, “Death rather than dishonor”)

Note that "infamia", "dedecus" and "ignominia" are in the nominative case as they follow "potius quam".

As for “Potius mori quam foedari”, it is correct and literally means:” Rather to die than to be dishonored”, i.e. “It's better to die than suffer dishonour” which is exactly the same thing  as “Death before dishonor”.

In short, all the above mentioned translations are correct and  therefore  you can choose the one you like best.

Instead, any other translation you can find on the net is wrong, unfortunately.

See below for the grammatical analysis.

Best regards,
Note that:

-Death = MORS (nominative case, 3rd.declension).

-before = ANTE (preposition which takes the accusative case) or POTIUS QUAM (=”rather than“ with the nominative case)

-dishonor = INFAMIAM (accusative of INFAMIA, 1st.declension)/ DEDECUS (accusative, neuter noun, 3rd.declension) / IGNOMINIAM (accusative of IGNOMINIA, 1st.declension) OR  the nominative cases INFAMIA, DEDECUS, IGNOMINIA after POTIUS QUAM.
As for “Potius mori quam foedari”, note that:

-POTIUS (adverb)  = rather
-MORI (present infinitive of the deponent verb MORIOR, I die) = to die
-QUAM (adverb) = than
-FOEDARI (passive form,present infinitive of the verb FOEDO, I dishonor) = to be dishonored.

Finally note that Latin is an inflected language with five declensions and six cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, ablative).


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