What!? Well, not really but as a Classicist, I started thinking that Villanova won and Villanova is Latin for New Town which is what our city’s name, Newton, means. It made me think about other Latin that might be lurking around Newton.
For starters, right in Newtonville is the Massachusetts state motto atop the Bank of America Financial Center on Walnut Street: ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (with a sword one seeks quiet peace under freedom) from the full phrase manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (this hand, enemy to tyrants, seeks with via the sword a quiet peace under liberty).
Having spent a considerable amount of volunteer time in Newton North High School, I recalled its motto: Animi Cultus Humanitatis Cibus. Cultus is a cognate of cultivate which is the word used to distinguish tilled (cultivated) land from natural land. The word cultus also come to mean nurtured (as in, nature versus nurture) and nurture, of course, is what schools are intent on doing to minds. The motto translates to Learning Sustains the Human Spirit. Learning does, as does Newton North.
Another example is Mount Alvernia High School, whose motto is Pax et Bonum (Peace and Good).
Along the same lines, I am reminded that good students are rewarded in Latin: cum laude (with honor), magna cum laude (with great honor), summa cum laude (with highest honor).
My final entry is long and calls for Latin experts. It is the tombstone of John Cotton, the third minister of the First Church in Newton. He was buried in the East Parish Burying Ground (corner of Center and Cotton streets) in 1757 with the following inscription on his tomb:
Hic depositum mori quod potuit
Reverendi vereque venerandi
ecclesiae Newtoniensis fidelissimi, prudentissimi, doctissimique pastoris,
concionandi tam precandi facultate celeberrimi,
moribus sanctissimis undequaque
et suavissime ab omnibus bene meriti, deploratique auditoribus praecipue, quibus vel mortuus concionari non desinit.
Fama longe lateque vocalius et diutius marmore duratissimo, nomen perdulce proclamabit. Morbo non senecta fractus,
e vita decessit, Maii 17, A. D. 1757, aetatis suae 64,
officii ministralis 43.
Here lies what has perished
Of the revered and venerable
Most faithful, prudent, and learned
Pastor of his Newton congregation,
Most celebrated in his ability to preach and pray, most admired in piety,
Very much and most pleasantly deserving
in praise by all for his pious habits,
And especially lamented by those who had heard him,
For whom even dead his words still are heard.
Far and wide, loudly, and more lasting than the hardest marble,
Will Fame proclaim his sweet name.
Broken by disease not old age,
He left this life on May 17, 1757 at the age of 64.
in the 43rd year of his ministry.
What Latin have you seen in and around Newton? Let me know.