Tempora mutantur

Tempora mutantur is a hexametric Latin adage meaning "times change", or more precisely "the times are changed" (passive). It is also stated as the longer Tempora mutantur nos et mutamur in illis, meaning "Times change, and we change with them", or more precisely "The times are changed and we change with them".

Wording

The verb means both "to move" and "to change", so an alternate reading is "The times move [on] , and we move [along] in them." This recalls the image of time as a river, moving along, as in Heraclitus' "Πάντα ῥεῖ" (panta rhei) "everything is in a state of flux".

The two forms of mūtō are respectively passive and active:
* "tempora" (the times) "" (change, move passively), while
* "nos" (we) "" (change, move actively).

Hence the phrase also contrasts the passive movement of time with our active reaction to it.

History

The notion of change, of everything changing, dates in Western philosophy at least to Heraclitus. This formulation appears to be traditional; the variant "omnia mutantur" ("everything changes") occurs for instance in Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the form "Omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis" is attributed to Lothair I by Matthias Borbonius.

It is quoted as "proverbial" in William Harrison's "Description of England," 1577, [http://books.google.com/books?id=4qwDICPz6OoC&pg=PA170&lpg=PA170 p. 170] , part of , in the form:with the translation:

It also appears aswhich in modern spelling reads:in John Lyly Euphues I 276, 1578, as cited in [http://books.google.com/books?id=7PMZJqSR4sAC Dictionary of Proverbs] , by George Latimer Apperson, Martin Manser, [http://books.google.com/books?id=7PMZJqSR4sAC&pg=PA582&lpg=PA582 p. 582]

This is a reference to , line 165:

A longer variant, in which form it gained popularity, is:Quote|"Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis;" "Quo modo? fit semper tempore pejor homo."by John Owen, in his popular "Epigrammata," 1613 Lib. I. ad Edoardum Noel, epigram 58 "O Tempora!" [ [http://www.philological.bham.ac.uk/owen/8lat.html The Epigrammata of John Owen, Book 8, Latin] ]

Translated by Harvey, 1677, as: [ [http://www.philological.bham.ac.uk/owen/8eng.html The Epigrammata of John Owen, Book 8, English] ] Quote|The Times are Chang’d, and in them Chang’d are we: How? Man as Times grow worse, grows worse we see.

According to Georg Büchmann, "Geflügelte Worte: Der Citatenschatz des deutschen Volkes," [http://aronsson.se/buchmann/0540.html p. 506] , the saying derives from:…the first line of:Quote|"Omnia mutantur nos et mutamur in illis" "Illa vices quasdam res habet, illa vices."In English:Quote|All things are changed, and we change with them ? Her vices that she has, her vices. ?attributed by [http://www.uni-mannheim.de/mateo/camena/AUTBIO/borbonius.html Matthew Borbonius] to Lothair I, in " [http://www.uni-mannheim.de/mateo/camenahtdocs/delitiae.html Delitiae Poetarum Germanorum] ," [http://www.uni-mannheim.de/mateo/camena/del1/deliciae1.html#dela0684 p. 684] ( [http://www.uni-mannheim.de/mateo/camena/del1/gif/dela0684.gifGIF] ).(Also cited as MATTHIAE BORBONII COLLIN. and Matthias Borbonius.)The literature is unclear and conflicting on whether this was "originally written" by Borbonius, or whether it is attributed by him to Lothair. [ [http://www.philological.bham.ac.uk/owen/notes.html#VIII.58.1 The Epigrammata of John Owen, Note on source] ]

Incorrect attributions

It is incorrectly attributed to Cicero, [ [http://www.jstor.org/pss/267592 Richard T. Bruere: Review of: "Follett World-Wide Latin Dictionary" by Edwin B. Levine, in "Classical Philology", Vol. 63, No. 4 (Oct. 1968), pp. 313–317] ] presumably a confusion with his "O tempora o mores!"

Brewer's Dictionary 1898 edition confuses the order of forms ("omnia" precedes "tempora") and one Borbonius (Matthew) with another (Nicholas), [http://www.bartleby.com/81/11828.html the entry] reading::“Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis,” is by Nicholas Borbonius, a Latin poet of the sixteenth century. Dr. Sandys says that the Emperor Lothair, of the Holy Roman Empire, had already said, “Tempora mutantur, nos et muta’mur in illis.”

Notes

Cultural references

It is used as the nickname for Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 64.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tempora mutantur — Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis, lateinisch für „Die Zeiten ändern sich und wir ändern uns in ihnen . Dieser Hexameter ist seit der Reformation als geflügeltes Wort belegt. Er wird zunächst von evangelisch gesinnten Autoren verwendet.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tempora mutantur — es un proverbio latino cuya traducción sería los tiempos cambian o los tiempos están cambiados. En realidad el proverbio se enmarca dentro de un hexámetro tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis traducido como Los tiempos están cambiados y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • tempora mutantur — (izg. tȅmpora mutàntur) DEFINICIJA vremena se mijenjaju ETIMOLOGIJA lat …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Tempora mutantur — Tempōra mutantur, nos et mutāmur in illis, lat. Sprichwort (Hexameter): Die Zeiten ändern sich und wir ändern uns mit ihnen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Tempora mutantur — Tẹm|po|ra mu|tạn|tur Die Zeiten ändern sich [lat. eigtl.: Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis „Die Zeiten ändern sich, und wir ändern uns mit ihnen“ (nach einem Ausspruch des fränk. Kaisers Lothar I.)] * * * tẹmpora mutạntur  … …   Universal-Lexikon

  • tempora mutantur — tẹm|po|ra mu|tạn|tur 〈geh.〉 die Zeiten ändern sich [Etym.: <lat. Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis »Die Zeiten ändern sich, und wir ändern uns mit ihnen« (nach einem Ausspruch des dt. Kaisers Lothar I.)] …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

  • tempora mutantur — tem|po|ra mu|tan|tur <lat. ; »die Zeiten ändern sich«> alles wandelt, ändert sich …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • tempora mutantur — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis — Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis, lateinisch für „Die Zeiten ändern sich und wir ändern uns in ihnen“. Dieser Hexameter geht auf ein mittelalterliches Vorbild zurück. Die Quelle dieses Spruches ist jedoch unbekannt. Eine Variante des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tempŏra mutantur, nos et mutāmur in illis — (lat.), »die Zeiten ändern sich, und wir verändern uns in oder mit ihnen«, geht zurück auf eine Äußerung Lothars I. (795–855), der (nach Borbonius) sagte: »Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis« …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.