Latin Proverbs: B

Bene legere saecla vincere
One who reads well masters the ages.

The word saecla should look familiar to anyone who has looked at a dollar bill. Novus Ordo Seclorum translates to “A New Order of the Ages” (not “A New World Order” as some conspiracy theorists claim. Do not fret, fact checking is beyond them). Someone who reads many books on many topics in more than one language can view problems through dozens of lenses and from dozens of angles. A steady reader’s thoughts are more precise because his thinking has become broader and more subtle. There is room for more variety in every direction. Empathy and perspective are gained through works of fiction and nonfiction alike. A well read person is more rich, varied, competent and generally ethical than an illiterate.

Belua multorum es capitum:
[The people] are a many-headed beast 

There is nothing to add here nor would its writer want anything to be added. This is Horace at his best.

Bellum se ipsum alet:
War feeds itself, Der Krieg ernährt den Krieg.

Use the spoils of war to wage war, a philosophy that may serve the United States well if it adopted it. Applied successfully by the Romans during the conquest of the Iberian peninsula and later by von Wallenstein and the Count of Tilly in the 30 Years War, this practice must be too fiscally responsible for modern strategists. It isn’t always an effective way to go about things. The Germans learned this through their botched bid for lebensraum in Russia.

Brutum fulmen:
A harmless thunderbolt.

“[Justice] John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”
-Andrew Jackson on Worcester v. Georgia

Many titles, rulings and laws are purely or partially symbolic. However, this has not slaked the thirst of the people who continue to demand stern but ultimately empty condemnations of various social ills.

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