Latin/Meanings

Advertisement


Question
Maria,


"Salus In Arduis" --means a stronghold (or refuge) in difficulties(80% sure i translated this right).  Is this the same meaning as strength through adversity?

"Vincit Qui Se Vincit"-- means He who conquers, conquers himself.  What exactly is the real meaning of this phrase?


This is for my own general knowledge. I appreciate all of your help

Thanks So Much

Jeff

Answer
Hello,

first of all I have to tell you that the phrase “Salus in arduis”, which is the motto of Wellingborough School,founded in 1595 in Northamptonshire, UK, is not in Classical Latin, but in Late Latin, i.e. a pejorative form of the Latin language used in Late Antiquity, from broadly the 3rd to 6th centuries AD, while Classical Latin is the best form of Latin language spoken and written from ca. the 3rd century BC  to ca. the 2nd century AD.

For example, in good Latin we should  say:”arduis in rebus”(see Horace, Odes, Book 2, Poem 3, lines 1), not “in arduis” for the substantive “arduum” (nominative neuter) has no plural number and thus “arduis” (ablative plural) is wrong in Classical Latin.

In short, such a motto,that dates back to the late 16th century AD,literally  would mean:“Safety in difficulties”, i.e. metaphorically:” Fulfilment through challenge”, just to emphasize the feeling of pleasure that we can have when we  are achieving what we want after facing  difficulties/adversities  and  riding them out.

To conclude, “Salus in arduis” does not mean “Stronghold (or refuge) in difficulties” nor has  the same meaning as “Strength through adversity” as SALUS does not mean “strength”, but "safety" or "fulfilment".


As for “Vincit qui se vincit", it is nothing but an adaptation of a sentence we read in Publilius Syrus, a Latin writer of maxims, flourished in the 1st century BC.
Publilius Syrus maxim reads: "Bis vincit qui se vincit in victoria” meaning “He  conquers  twice  who conquers himself when he is victorious”, i.e. “He conquers who is able to use victory”.

So, as you can see, “Vincit qui se vincit" (literally, “He conquers who conquers himself”, NOT "He who conquers, conquers himself") derives from that maxim and wants to point out that you are the real winner only if you are able to control yourself.

In short, the sentence  urges  to  have strong control over our emotions and actions.

Read more below.

Best regards,

Maria
____________________________________________________________________
Note that:

-SALUS (nominative case, 3rd.declension) = safety /fulfilment
-IN (preposition which takes the ablative case)= in /through
-ARDUIS (ablative plural of the neuter noun ARDUUM)= difficulties/ adversities. The best form would be ARDUIS REBUS


-VINCIT (3rd.person singular, present indicative of VINCO, I conquer)= he conquers
-QUI (nominative masculine singular, relative pronoun) = who
-SE (accusative, reflexive pronoun) = himself
-VINCIT (3rd.person singular, present indicative of VINCO)= conquers

Latin

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.