Lesson 7.3 Mouse


We’ll look at two more shorties, and then learn some vocabulary. You don’t have to follow every word hre. Just see how many connections you can make from the Latin original to the English translations.

This chap was a bit sterner than Titus:

Qui legis hunc titulum, mortalem te esse memento.

You who read this inscription, remember you are mortal.

Legis is related to words like legible. A memento is something to remember me by.

This next inscription is a simple cry from a mother to her child:

Monumentum maerens mater fecit filiae,
quae nunquam laesit matrem.

A grieving mother (maerens mater) made this monument to her daughter, who never hurt (laesit) her mother.

As so often, we have had to add the possessive pronoun (“her”, in this case). But the Latin is easily understood.

We know very little about the circumstances of most of these epitaphs, but the first line here looks poetic to me, almost like something from a condolence card. All those M sounds followed by the F of fecit and filiae make it kind of a jingle. The second part is more prosaic. It feels to me as if the mother wanted to say something that wasn’t covered in the sculptor’s commonplace book. It makes it personal.

There’s no evidence for this theory, if it even is a theory. But one of the benefits of reading something slowly like this is that it gives us time to speculate and imagine.

A suitably tenebrous video next, with the vocabulary for today’s main act.