Monday, September 21, 2020


A Latin Proverb

Res satis est nota, foetent plus stercora mota.

Richard Chenevix Trench, Proverbs and Their Lessons. With Additional Notes and a Bibliography of Proverbs by A. Smythe Palmer (London: George Routledge & Sons, Limited, 1905), p. 152, translates it thus (changing the comparative to the superlative):
Everybody knows that the dunghill stinks worst when it's stirred.
This is apparently number 26765 in Hans Walther, Proverbia Sententiaeque Latinitatis Medii Aevi, 9 vols. (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1963-1986), which is unavailable to me.

The proverb occurs in Bruno Seidel, Paroemiae Ethicae (Frankfurt am Main: Nicolaus Bassaeus, 1589), with the following German translation:
Ein Dreck je mehr er wirdt geschürt / Je mehr er eim die Nase rührt.
See also Renzo Tosi, Dictionnaire des sentences latines et grecques, tr. Rebecca Lenoir (Grenoble: Jérôme Millon, 2010), p. 609, #795 (Mota quietare, quieta non movere), and Jennifer Speake, Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, 6th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), p. 300:

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