Thursday, September 23, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: UBI

Today's word is the wonderful little UBI, which is an adverb of both place ("where") and time ("when"). You can see this Latin root in the English word "ubiquitous" - something that is "everywhere."

When ubi is used spatially, it correlates with ibi as an expression of location: Ubi? Ibi! Where? There!

When ubi is used temporally, it correlates with tum or with tunc as an expression of time: Ubi? Tunc! When? Then!

To emphasize the spatial meaning of ubi, you can find it used with terrarum or with loci, as in the expression Ubi terrarum? Where in the world? You can also find this same expression with gentium, as in Cicero: Ubinam gentium sumus?

There are many Latin compounds with ubi, such as ubicumque, "wherever, whenever," ubique, "everywhere, anywhere" and also ubilibet and ubivis, "wherever you want, whenever you want." To emphasize the interrogative use of ubi, it can be joined with the interrogative particle nam, resulting in: ubinam.

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below, as well as additional proverbs:

Ubi sunt?

Ubi amor, ibi oculus.

Patres vestri ubi sunt?

Ibi valet populus, ubi valent leges.

Ubi amor, ibi fides.

Ubi bonum, mihi patria.

Patria est ubi bene est.

Ibi patria, ubi bene.

Patria est ubi bene sit cuique.

Ubi amor, ibi dolor.

Ubi pericula, ibi gloria.

Ubi opes, ibi amici.

Ubi amici, ibi sunt opes.

Quam miserum est, ubi consilium casu vincitur!

Ubi spes, ibi pax.

Ubi omnis vita metus est, mors est optima.

Ubi maior est, minor cedat.

Ubi peccat aetas maior, male discit minor.

Ubi non est scientia animae, non est bonum.

Mortem ubi contemnas, omnes viceris metus.


laurent.hendschel said...

Hello, when you say:
"When ubi is used spatially, it correlates with ibi as an expression of location: Ubi? Ibi! When? Then!"

Shouldn't it be "Where? There!"

BTW, thanks for this wonderful blog. It helps swallow difficult bits one by one...

Laura Gibbs said...

GRATIAS MAXIMAS! It is fixed now! :-)