Thursday, March 24, 2016

Gutta Cavat Lapidem - A Drop Hollows out a Stone

Our beloved Ovid gives us the Latin original of the quote "Gutta Cavat Lapidem" - "A Drop (of Water) Hollows out a Stone." (Epistulae Ex Ponto 4.10.5)

Medieval commentators supplied the reason for this fact, "Non Vi Sed Saepe Cadendo" - "Not by Force, but by Falling Often."

The word for "drop" (Gutta) did surprisingly well in the Romance languages:

Gota - Spanish
Goccia - Italian
Goutte - French 

The ordinarily conservative Romanian dropped the ball:

Picătură - Romanian

The quote is inspirational. Persistence will eventually win the day.

Also worth noting in this vein:

Assiduus usus, uni rei deditus, et ingenium et artem saepe vincit.
Constant practice, given to one thing, often conquers both genius and art.
(Cicero Pro Balbo 45) 

If you're interested in Latin or ancient history, or even just an entertaining read, check out the time-travel thriller In Saecula Saeculorum. Click to learn more.

You'll travel back to ancient Rome on a harrowing mission to save the modern world. It's the adventure of four lifetimes.