phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Semper tres

Posted by Miri Barak on January 05, 2003

In Reply to: Semper tres posted by R. Berg 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.
: projects/priests/ststans.htm

Thank you for both answers, Berg I did get this link myself but I wanted to know if there was another reason for this rule. maybe if I understand *sneaking* as telling about someone's doings than it could be understood as keeping an eye on the two by the third one.
I don't konw if I made myself clear.
thanks miri