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) 


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