Tempora mutantur

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis , Latin for "Times change and we change in them", is a hexameter that has been a proverb since the 16th century . He goes back to the verse tempora labuntur tacitisque senescimus annis ... ("Times slide by and in quiet years we age ...") from Ovid's Fasti .

Before 1554, Caspar Huberinus expanded Ovid's motif :

Tempora labuntur, tacitisque senescimus annis;
Tempora mutantur, nosque mutamur in illis .

A German translation was added by Johannes Nas in 1565 :

Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in ipsis;
Time is changed and we in time .

The version … et nos mutamur in illis was published by Andreas Gartner a year later .

In 1595 Matthias Borbonius dedicated the two-line text to the fate of Emperor Lothar I :

Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis;
Illa vices quasdam res habet, illa vices .

The version Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis is prosodically incorrect: According to the length structure of the verse, the first half of the third foot of the verse (here the -ntur of mutantur ) must be long; since -ntur by nature but is not long, elongation means is position length needed. A position length is when followed by a vowel at least two consonants: in this case, must nos on mutantur follow, so that to the -u consonants r and n Connect. If, on the other hand, it is followed by et , the positional length of -ntur is not guaranteed, which is why the verse in this case does not conform to the rules of prosody.

However, strict adherence to these rules is not mandatory here, as the Zurich classical philologist Klaus Bartels explains: “In classical Latin poetry, at this point - in the accentuation, before the caesura - there is a short final syllable here and there, which then is considered to be "metrically stretched". An "-r" in the final can be really well presented as stretched. A winged example and a close parallel is the much-cited Virgilvers (Bucolica 10, 69): Omnia vincit amor, et nos cedamus amori (love conquers everything, we too surrender to love; Red.) The standard work by Friedrich Crusius, Römische Metrik, § 31, names further classic passages. "

Comparable are on the one hand the motto of the Ovidian "Metamorphoses" ("Metamorphoses"), 15, 165 and 214 ff .: Omnia mutantur , "Everything changes", on the other hand one that corresponds in form and contradicts the matter late antique sentence from the late antique epic poet Gorippus , Johannis 7, 91: Tempora permutas nec tu mutaris in illis , "You change times, but you do not change in them".

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Ovid, Fasti 6,771.
  2. Caspar Huberinus: Postilla Deudsch. Frankfurt an der Oder 1554, fol. 354. Google
  3. Johannes Nas: The anti-papist one and one hundred. [Ingolstadt] 1565, fol. 83. Google
  4. Andreas Gartner: Proverbalia dicteria. [Frankfurt am Main] 1566, unpaginated, 16th decade. Digitized
  5. Matthias Borbonius: Caesars , Leipzig 1595, unpaginated, Lotharius Primus CLIII. Google ; Matthias Borbonius: [Selection from: Caesares , Leipzig 1595]. In: Delitiae Poetarum Germanorum huius superiorisque aevi illustrium . AFGG (publisher, not identified), vol. 1, Frankfurt am Main 1612, p. 685. Digitized . Translated for example: “Everything changes and we change in it; / That thing, however, has some changes, this variety. "
  6. Klaus Bartels: Reply to a letter to the editor. In: Sprachspiegel, bi-monthly publication of the Swiss Association for the German Language 1/2012, p. 22 f. ( Digitized version ).
  7. Klaus Bartels: Veni vidi vici. Winged words from Greek and Latin . Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 13th edition 2010, p. 163.