Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rex in Regno suo superiores habet Deum et Legem.

The King in his Realm hath two superiors: God and the Law. -- Henry Care (1646-1688) on English liberties and the Magna Carta


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Ancient History

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Heraclitus' Aphorism Bonanza

Part of the allure of Heraclitus for me is his wordsmithery, which earned him the nicknames of “The Obscure” and “The Riddler.” He is described variously as producing fragments that are “cursed by their enigmatic obscurity, which was already notorious in ancient times….” If these fragments were dense in meaning back then, translation into English and into modern usages fogs their clarity all the more.  Another expert writes: “The Riddler delights in puns and word-play—most of which are lost in translation.”

In introducing Heraclitus in The First Philosophers, Robin Waterfield says:

It is even possible that Heraclitus did not write a coherent treatise, but a series of longer and shorter aphorisms, suitable for an oral culture, which frequently rely on metaphor and paradox.

As quoted by Sextus Empiricus in Against the Professors:

But the general run of people are as unaware of their actions while awake as they are of what they do while asleep.

On opposites being one:

The sea is most pure and most polluted water: for fish, drinkable and life-preserving; for me, undrinkable and death-dealing.

On immortality:

Immortals are mortals, mortals immortal: living their death, dying their life.