phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Semper tres

Posted by R. Berg on January 04, 2003

In Reply to: The KGB connection posted by TheFallen on January 04, 2003

: : I'm translating a piece about Gauguin, the painter, and it is said about him "I believe I learnt, during my childhood and in that seminary, to hate hypocrisy, double dealing and sneaking *(semper tres)*, and to distrust anything that ran contrary to my instinct, heart and reason. Gauguin says these words about his school days in a religous school in France.
: : *semper tres* it is part of a sentence: Non quam duo, semper tres
: : and it means: never go in twos - always in threes.
: : this is a rule they had to keep at school. I wanted to know the origin of it, what was really the reason for this rule, to be able to understand the connection to this paragraph.
: : and my thanks to everyone who tries to enlighten me.
: : Miri

: This'll be of no help, but it used to be claimed that in the days of the Cold War, the KGB used to only go around in threes - why? One who could read, one who could write, and the last to keep a watchful eye on the intelligentsia.

The article linked below suggests that the purpose of the rule in seminaries was to prevent sexual activity between students.
[Dead link removed]