Ex pede Herculem.

(pron = eks peh-deh Hehr-koo-lehm)

We recognize Hercules by his foot.

Comment: It is said that the first Olympic stadium course length was established
by 600 of Hercules’ foot lengths. Someone has done the math and determined that
Hercules would have worn a size 46 (European) shoe! I wear an American size 12,
and that often converts to size 41 or 42 European. Hercules had big feet!

But, I suspect that this little proverb is less about Hercules feet than that he
had a characteristic by which he was recognized and against which other things
were measured.

It’s a simple reflection: what do people know us by? Against what in us are
they measuring themselves, their own actions, other things? We might shrink
back and say that others measure nothing against us, but this simply isn’t
true. Somewhere, someone looks at each of us and sees something that they
admire, or fear, or hate, or love, and then he/she draws conclusions about us,
about him/herself and about the world. Perhaps that is not fair. In fact, I
think it probably not very wise to let any other person be the single measure
against which we measure anything, but we do leave our impressions—on the wise
and the not so wise. So, what is it? And how do we leave those impressions?
The world is interconnected. One thing always touches on, and changes, another

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.