Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ab Ovo - From the Egg

Leda and her Twins
The poet Horace wrote that the Trojan War should not be recounted “nec gemino bellum  Troianum orditur ab ovo,” that is to say,  from the story of how Helen of Troy was born
from one of the twin eggs after Zeus turned her mother Leda into a goose. (Horace,
Ars Poetica, 147)

From this, we get the Latin proverb "Ab Ovo" (From the Egg), meaning, one need not tell any story from some unnecessary point prior to the event or in unnecessary detail.

This proverb is a nice way to lock in the ablative singular neuter form (following the preposition a/ab).

To learn more about Latin, visit the Latin resources page on my website.

I have a collection of other Latin quotes there that you can explore.