Is 'piscantur necesse est' a correct adaptation of the well-known Plutarch maxim 'navigare necesse est'? I would like to say "angling is necessary", but I am unsure whether it remains correct after my modification.

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    Welcome to the site, Pawel!
    – Rafael
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 14:14
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    Mr Pck fixed your grammar and translation below but I'll just mention that, no, navigare and piscari are no more synonyms than 'sail' and 'fish' are in English. People who do one often engage in the other, but they're not alternate names for one another or mutually contingent. It's not a paraphrase but a different sentence meaning a different thing.
    – lly
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 16:32

2 Answers 2


In Latin, "fish" is piscor, -ari, -atus sum, a first conjugation deponent verb.

The form you use, piscantur, is third person plural. It means "they fish."

The original phrase is a later Latin translation of Plutarch's Greek translation of what Pompey said, presumably in Latin: "πλεῖν ἀνάγκη, ζῆν οὐκ ἀνάγκη."

Navigare is active infinitive: "to sail." The equivalent form of piscor is piscari. You thus have:

Piscari necesse est.

If you want a gratuitous addendum, here's how Plutarch would have said it in Greek:

ἁλιεύειν ἀνάγκη


Nothing wrong with Brian's answer, but I have another couple of options for you — perhaps a bit more grave in style:

piscari opus est.

And my best attempt at poetics, eliding gerundive of obligation with est:


Please tell me you're painting this on the side of your new boat.

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    Your gerundive is just what I was going to post. And +1 for the elision, seems quite Plautine.
    – MPW
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 17:00
  • Thank you Daniel, maybe I will, but I will stick to 'Piscari necesse est' because it is more obvious reference to original Pompey sentence. I have a plan to start fishing instagram/facebook (youtube in the future) journal about my flyfishing/fishing expeditions mainly in Norway and that sentence will be the name of this journal. I will keep you updated :). Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 14:03

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