Monday, April 4, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: ARMA

Today's word is ARMA, which is a neuter plural second declension noun, so the genitive form is armorum. The word literally refers to body armor or a shield, but through a process of extension and generalization it comes to refer to implements of war generally. By metaphorical extension, it can also refer to the tools of other crafts and trades, not just war.

There is a whole range of military words that derive from this Latin word, such "army," "armor," and "armaments." There is also the wonderful word "armistice," which is a compound of Latin arma and the verb sistere, meaning "to cause to stand, to cause to stand still." So the armistice is when the arms are set down and war comes to a stop (compare the similar compound "solstice," when the sun stops in its course and seems to stand still).

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:

Plus legibus arma valent.

Nec satis rationis in armis.

Cedant arma legibus.

Arma nesciunt leges.

Arma non servant modum.

Pacemne huc fertis an arma?

Sapiens contra omnes arma fert, cum cogitat.

Armis potentius aequum.

Arma tuentur pacem.

Leges silent inter arma.

Inter arma silent Musae.

Silent enim leges inter arma.

Inter arma silent leges.

Amor arma ministrat.

Furor arma ministrat.

Pax armis acquiritur.

Arma armis repellere licet.

Inter armorum strepitus verba iuris civilis exaudiri non possunt.

Cedant arma togae.

Bis interimitur qui suis armis perit.

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