Translations into English:

  • if not the Lord, |it is| in vain   
     
    That is, "everything is in vain without God". Summarized from Psalm 127, "nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum in vanum laboraverunt qui aedificant eam nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem frustra vigilavit qui custodit" |unless the Lord builds the house, they work on a useless thing who build it; unless the Lord guards the community, he keeps watch in vain who guards it|. Motto of Edinburgh and St. Stephen's Episcopal School.

Example sentences with "nisi Dominus frustra", translation memory

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Interim Piso classem haud procul opperientem adpugnare frustra temptavit; regressusque et pro muris, modo semet adflictando, modo singulos nomine ciens, praemiis vocans, seditionem coeptabat, adeoque commoverat ut signifer legionis sextae signum ad eum transtulerit.Meanwhile Piso vainly attempted an attack on the fleet which waited at a distance; he then went back, and as he stood before the walls, now smiting his breast, now calling on individual soldiers by name, and luring them on by rewards, sought to excite a mutiny. He had so far roused them that a standard bearer of the sixth legion went over to him with his standard.
Seneca interim, durante tractu et lentitudine mortis, Statium Annaeum, diu sibi amicitiae fide et arte medicinae probatum, orat provisum pridem venenum, quo d[am]nati publico Atheniensium iudicio exstinguerentur, promeret; adlatumque hausit frustra, frigidus iam artus et cluso corpore adversum vim veneni.Seneca meantime, as the tedious process of death still lingered on, begged Statius Annaeus, whom he had long esteemed for his faithful friendship and medical skill, to produce a poison with which he had some time before provided himself, same drug which extinguished the life of those who were condemned by a public sentence of the people of Athens.
notabili constantia centurio Iulius Agrestis post multos sermones, quibus Vitellium ad virtutem frustra accendebat, perpulit ut ad viris hostium spectandas quaeque apud Cremonam acta forent ipse mitteretur.Singular bravery was displayed by a centurion, Julius Agrestis, who, after several interviews, in which he had in vain endeavoured to rouse Vitellius to courage, prevailed on the Emperor to send him in person to see what was the strength of the enemy's resources, and what had happened at Cremona.
C. Suetonio Luccio Telesino consulibus Antistius Sosianus, factitatis in Neronem carminibus probrosis exilio, ut dixi, multatus, postquam id honoris indicibus tamque promptum ad caedes principem accepit, inquies animo et occasionum haud segnis Pammenem, eiusdem loci exulem et Chaldaeorum arte famosum eoque multorum amicitiis innexum, similitudine fortunae sibi conciliat, ventitare ad eum nuntios et consultationes non frustra ratus; simul annuam pecuniam a P. Anteio ministrari cognoscit.In the consulship of Caius Suetonius and Lucius Telesinus, Antistius Sosianus, who, as I have stated, had been punished with exile for repeated satires on Nero, having heard that there was such honour for informers and that the emperor was so partial to bloodshed, being himself too of a restless temper and quick to seize opportunities, made a friend of a man in like condition with himself, one Pammenes, an exile in the same place, noted for his skill as an astrologer, and consequently bound to many in close intimacy.
neque frustra praestantissimus sapientiae firmare solitus est, si recludantur tyrannorum mentes, posse aspici laniatus et ictus, quando ut corpora verberibus, ita saevitia, libidine, malis consultis animus dilaceretur.With profound meaning was it often affirmed by the greatest teacher of philosophy that, could the minds of tyrants be laid bare, there would be seen gashes and wounds; for, as the body is lacerated by scourging, so is the spirit by brutality, by lust and by evil thoughts.
Ibi cum alii fossas complerent, alii multis telis coniectis defensores vallo munitionibusque depellerent, auxiliaresque, quibus ad pugnam non multum Crassus confidebat, lapidibus telisque subministrandis et ad aggerem caespitibus comportandis speciem atque opinionem pugnantium praeberent, cum item ab hostibus constanter ac non timide pugnaretur telaque ex loco superiore missa non frustra acciderent, equites circumitis hostium castris Crasso renuntiaverunt non eadem esse diligentia ab decumana porta castra munita facilemque aditum habere.There, while some were filling up the ditch, and others, by throwing a large number of darts, were driving the defenders from the rampart and fortifications, and the auxiliaries, on whom Crassus did not much rely in the battle, by supplying stones and weapons [to the soldiers], and by conveying turf to the mound, presented the appearance and character of men engaged in fighting; while also the enemy were fighting resolutely and boldly, and their weapons, discharged from their higher position, fell with great effect; the horse, having gone round the camp of the enemy, reported to Crassus that the camp was not fortified with equal care on the side of the Decuman gate, and had an easy approach.
non frustra maiores, cum dignitatem ordinum dividerent, libertatem in communi posuisse.If freedmen were to be a separate class, the paucity of the freeborn would be conspicuously apparent.
ita Radamistus frustra vel cum damno temptatis munitionibus obssidium incipit; et cum vis neglegeretur, avaritiam praefecti emercatur, obtestante Casperio, ne socius rex, ne Armenia donum populi Romani scelere et pecunia verterentur.And so Rhadamistus having attempted the fortified walls in vain or with loss, began a blockade, and, finding that his assaults were despised, tried to bribe the rapacity of the camp-prefect. Casperius protested earnestly against the overthrow of an allied king and of Armenia, the gift of the Roman people, through iniquity and greed of gain.
quidam non Roma eos milites, sed ab L. Asprenate pro consule Africae missos tradidere auctore Tiberio, qui famam caedis posse in Asprenatem verti frustra speraverat.Some have related that these soldiers were not sent from Rome, but by Lucius Asprenas, proconsul of Africa, on the authority of Tiberius, who had vainly hoped that the infamy of the murder might be shifted on Asprenas.
ignara matre, dein frustra obnitente, penitus inrepserat per luxum et ambigua secreta, ne senioribus quidem principis amicis adversantibus, muliercula nulla cuiusquam iniuria cupidines principis explente, quando uxore ab Octavia, nobili quidem et probitatis spectatae, fato quodam, an quia praevalent inlicita, abhorrebat, metuebaturque, ne in stupra feminarum inlustrium prorumperet, si illa libidine prohiberetur.Without the mother's knowledge, then in spite of her opposition, they had crept into his favour by debaucheries and equivocal secrets, and even the prince's older friends did not thwart him, for here was a girl who without harm to any one gratified his desires, when he loathed his wife Octavia, high born as she was, and of approved virtue, either from some fatality, or because vice is overpoweringly attractive. It was feared too that he might rush into outrages on noble ladies, were he debarred from this indulgence.
Ac sic accidit, uti ex tanto navium numero tot navigationibus neque hoc neque superiore anno ulla omnino navis, quae milites portaret, desideraretur; at ex eis, quae inanes ex continenti ad eum remitterentur et prioris commeatus eitis militibus et quas postea Labienus faciendas curaverat numero LX, perpaucae locum caperent, reliquae fere omnes reicerentur. Quas cum aliquamdiu Caesar frustra exspectasset, ne anni tempore a navigatione excluderetur, quod aequinoctium suberat, necessario angustius milites collocavit ac summa tranquillitate consecuta, secunda inita cum solvisset vigilia, prima luce terram attigit omnesque incolumes naves perduxit.And it so happened, that out of so large a number of ships, in so many voyages, neither in this nor in the previous year was any ship missing which conveyed soldiers; but very few out of those which were sent back to him from the continent empty, as the soldiers of the former convoy had been disembarked, and out of those (sixty in number) which Labienus had taken care to have built, reached their destination; almost all the rest were driven back, and when Caesar had waited for them for some time in vain, lest he should be debarred from a voyage by the season of the year, inasmuch as the equinox was at hand, he of necessity stowed his soldiers the more closely, and, a very great calm coming on, after he had weighed anchor at the beginning of the second watch, he reached land at break of day and brought in all the ships in safety.
Cuius cognito consilio Caesar frustra diebus aliquot consumptis, ne reliquum tempus amittat, infectis eis, quae agere destinaverat, ab urbe proficiscitur atque in ulteriorem Galliam pervenit.Caesar having discovered his intention, after spending several days to no purpose, left the city, in order that he might not lose any more time, and went to Transalpine Gaul, without effecting what he had intended.
igitur inriti remittuntur, cum donis tamen unde spes fieret non frustra eadem oraturum Tiridaten, si preces ipse attulisset.So the envoys were sent back without an answer, but with some presents, in order to inspire a hope that Tiridates would not make the same request in vain, if only he presented his petition in person.
Compluribus expugnatis oppidis Caesar, ubi intellexit frustra tantum laborem sumi neque hostium fugam captis oppidis reprimi neque iis noceri posse, statuit expectandam classem.Caesar, after taking many of their towns, perceiving that so much labor was spent in vain and that the flight of the enemy could not be prevented on the capture of their towns, and that injury could not be done them, he determined to wait for his fleet.
Adiciebat crimina longius repetita, quod consortium imperii iuraturasque in feminae verba praetorias cohortes idemque dedecus senatus et populi speravisset, ac postquam frustra [h]abita sit, infensa militi patribusque et plebi dissuasisset donativum et congiarium periculaque viris inlustribus struxisset.He even revived the charges of a period long past, how she had aimed at a share of empire, and at inducing the praetorian cohorts to swear obedience to a woman, to the disgrace of the Senate and people; how, when she was disappointed, in her fury with the soldiers, the Senate, and the populace, she opposed the usual donative and largess, and organised perilous prosecutions against distinguished citizens.
tum ad Moesicos conversus principes auctoresque belli ciebat: frustra minis et verbis provocatos Vitellianos, si manus eorum oculosque non tolerent."Idly, he said ""have you challenged the Vitellianists with threatening words, if you cannot abide their attack or even their looks."" So he spoke to each as he approached them."
Agitasse Gaium Caesarem de intranda Britannia satis constat, ni velox ingenio mobili paenitentiae, et ingentes adversus Germaniam conatus frustra fuissent.That Caius Cæsar meditated an invasion of Britain is perfectly clear, but his purposes, rapidly formed, were easily changed, and his vast attempts on Germany had failed.
frustra nostram ignaviam alia ad vocabula transferri: nam viri in eo culpam si femina modum excedat.It is idle to shelter our own weakness under other names; for it is the husband's fault if the wife transgresses propriety.
obturbabant quidem patres specie detestandi: sed penetrabat pavor et admiratio, callidum olim et tegendis sceleribus obscurum huc confidentiae venisse ut tamquam dimotis parietibus ostenderet nepotem sub verbere centurionis, inter servorum ictus extrema vitae alimenta frustra orantem.The centurion had actually added, as something highly meritorious, his own language in all its brutality, and some utterances of the dying man in which, at first feigning loss of reason, he imprecated in seeming madness fearful things on Tiberius, and then, when hope of life was gone, denounced him with a studied and elaborate curse.
Haec cum facta sunt in consilio, magna spe et laetitia omnium discessum est; ac iam animo victoriam praecipiebant, quod de re tanta et a tam perito imperatore nihil frustra confirmari videbatur.After this had passed in the council they broke up full of hopes and joy, and in imagination anticipated victory; because they thought that in a matter of such importance, no groundless assertion could be made by a general of such experience.
his copiis rector additus Annius Gallus, cum Vestricio Spurinna ad occupandas Padi ripas praemissus, quoniam prima consiliorum frustra ceciderant, transgresso iam Alpis Caecina, quem sisti intra Gallias posse speraverat.Annius Gallus was put at the head of this force, and was sent on with Vestricius Spurinna to occupy the banks of the Padus, the original plan of the campaign having fallen to the ground, now that Caecina, who they had hoped might have been kept within the limits of Gaul, had crossed the Alps.
Quod nobis quidem nulla ratione factum a Pompeio videtur, propterea quod est quaedam animi incitatio atque alacritas naturaliter innata omnibus, quae studio pugnae incenditur; hanc non reprimere, sed augere imperatores debent; neque frustra antiquitus institutum est, ut signa undique concinerent clamoremque universi tollerent; quibus rebus et hostes terreri et suos incitari existimaverunt.But to me Pompey seems to have acted without sufficient reason: for there is a certain impetuosity of spirit and an alacrity implanted by nature in the hearts of all men, which is inflamed by a desire to meet the foe. This a general should endeavor not to repress, but to increase; nor was it a vain institution of our ancestors, that the trumpets should sound on all sides, and a general shout be raised; by which they imagined that the enemy were struck with terror, and their own army inspired with courage.
Frustra: nam Caesar magni sitineribus omnibus locis occurrit nec dat ulli civitati spatium de aliena potius quam de domestica salute cogitandi; qua celeritate et fideles amicos retinebat et dubitantes terrore ad condiciones pacis adducebat.In vain; for Caesar, by hasty marches, anticipated them in every place, nor did he allow any state leisure to consider the safety of others, in preference to their own. By this activity, he both retained his friends in their loyalty, and by fear, obliged the wavering to accept offers of peace.
frustra silentium et fidem in tot consciorum animis et corporibus sperare: cruciatui aut praemio cuncta pervia esse.It is vain to expect secrecy and fidelity from the varying tempers and bodily constitutions of such a host of accomplices.
Hac nostris erat receptus, quod eo incitati studio inconsultius processerant; hoc pugnabatur loco, et propter angustias iniquo et quod sub ipsis radicibus montis constiterant, ut nullum frustra telum in eos mitteretur.Our men had to retreat this way, as they had, through their eagerness, advanced too inconsiderately.
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