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Old 2003-05-04, 08:16 AM   #1
Mikefule
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Calling Scott Kurland (OT)

"Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."
-- Seneca

OK, help me with this one. I've read lots of Seneca, but only in the English translation. One of the few philosophers of whom I could say, 'What a great bloke.'

I make it:
How (whereas?) the sword slaughters no one, it is a weapon of slaughter

If so, then presumably it's the Roman equivalent of 'Guns don't kill you, it's the person who pulls the trigger'.

Am I on the right lines?
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Old 2003-05-04, 12:18 PM   #2
Scott Kurland
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Re: Calling Scott Kurland (OT)

Mikefule wrote:
> "Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."
> -- Seneca
>
> OK, help me with this one. I've read lots of Seneca, but only in the
> English translation. One of the few philosophers of whom I could say,
> 'What a great bloke.'
>
> I make it:
> How (whereas?) the sword slaughters no one, it is a weapon of
> slaughter
>
> If so, then presumably it's the Roman equivalent of 'Guns don't kill
> you, it's the person who pulls the trigger'.
>
> Am I on the right lines?


Yes. Most commonly translated as:

"A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand."

But yeah, you got the gist of it.


I'll note that if you Google the Latin phrase you get 331 hits. ;-)


--
"Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."
-- Seneca


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Old 2003-05-04, 03:45 PM   #3
Mikefule
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Thanks.

As far as I can tell, my translation was more literal, but I think yours conveyed the meaning better. (I failed Latin in 1977, though... it was my way of celebrating the Silver Jubilee.)

How's about this one: "A hand gun's made for killing, ain't no good for nothing else..."

Apart from the appalling grammar, I think it's a fair point.

(From Saturday Night Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd.)
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Old 2003-05-04, 04:48 PM   #4
Scott Kurland
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Re: Calling Scott Kurland (OT)

Mikefule wrote:
> Thanks.
>
> As far as I can tell, my translation was more literal, but I think
> yours conveyed the meaning better. (I failed Latin in 1977,
> though... it was my way of celebrating the Silver Jubilee.)


Oh, that wasn't MY translation, that was the most common translation.

MY translation goes: "Swords don't kill people, I kill people."

>
> How's about this one: "A hand gun's made for killing, ain't no good
> for nothing else..."
>
> Apart from the appalling grammar, I think it's a fair point.
>
> (From Saturday Night Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd.)


Sure. Apart from amusing myself at the range, that's all I've ever used one
for. Though the 2nd Amendment guys swear up and down that just pointing one
at a Bad Guy is often enough to discourage him from annoying (raping,
killing, robbing, mugging, beating, et cetera) you, I very strongly prefer
knives: guns are heavy and bulky and high-maintenance and loud and smelly
and expensive and they run out of bullets. Knives are at least as scary -
guns are more dangerous than knives, but knife players are... harder in
spirit, let's say, than shooters.


Scott's handgun kill anecdote: I was bird-hunting with my uncle and cousins
in upstate New York - Constantia, just outside Syracuse. Since a shotgun
loaded with birdshot is essentially worthless against a bear, and there are
plenty of black bears around there, my uncle wore a S&W .357 on his right
hip.

We were tramping along a mostly abandoned logging road when we came across
an apple orchard that must've been abandoned at least 50 years, overgrown
with bramble.

There was a bear in the orchard, drunk on fermenting apples. He stood up
and snarled at us.

I drew my uncle's gun and shot it in the head six times. That was the first
time I'd ever fired a handgun. I didn't hear the noise, didn't feel the
kick... didn't see anything except the bear's head, not even the rest of the
bear. Ruined the trophy, but my uncle still has the rug in his living room.


--
"Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."
-- Seneca


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