BESTIARIA LATINA BLOG - Latin Via Fables - Zoo - Legenda

Proverbia de Bove

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These proverbs about the Ox (Bos) constitute just one group of the large body of proverbs about oxen, bulls, bullocks and cows in Latin.

For more information about the rams and sheep and lambs in Latin bestiaries, visit the Bos in the Zoo. If you find some of the proverbs below difficult to understand, you will find some English translations at the Zoo page, along with many other proverbs!

   Use this Study Guide to organize your learning activities.

Quod licet Iovi,
non licet bovi.
quod: relative pronoun, agreeing with implied hoc in main clause
ad aquam tractus
non vult potare
potare: complementary infinitive with vult
Quid bove firmius?  
bos incedit.
Bos lassus
fortius figit
Non facile est
taurum visa retinere iuvenca.
retinere: infinitive as noun
visa...iuvenca: split phrase - ablative absolute
videtur bos
Bos in civitate.  
Bos marinus.  
delphino et bovi
locusta bovem pariet.
bovem agit.
venari leporem.
Ne si bos quidem
vocem edat.

edat: subjunctive with si
ne...quidem: split phrase

Note: In other words, not ever!

Sero paras stabulum
taurum iam fure trahente.
fure trahente: ablative absolute
Parva necat morsu spatiosum
vipera taurum.

parva...vipera: split phrase

spatiosum...taurum: split phrase

in lingua incedit.
Note: This refers to someone who is silent (and perhaps to someone who has been bribed into silence, since some ancient coins were stamped with oxen, so an "ox" could stand for a coin).
In lingua mihi
Capram portare non possum,
et imponitis bovem.
portare: complementary infinitive with possum

© The segmented texts, annotations and audio files at
are copyrighted by Laura Gibbs, 2007. No copyright is claimed for any images.