Sententiae Latinae - Latin Maxims


While the Sententiae Latinae page will remain on-line for the time being, no new material will be added to it. I will also no longer be accepting translation requests or any other requests concerning Latin maxims.

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Then type a word or two from your phrase in the search box that appears. (I do not recommend using the full phrase, since there might be differences in word order between the phrase that you have come across and the one I have listed.)


...I don't mind your writing and pointing it out; since this is a large page, it is impossible for me to catch every slip of the pen (keyboard?), and your help is very welcome. I sincerely thank everyone who has sent me kind letters, bringing to my attention typos and errors that I probably never would have found otherwise.

I do, however, mind the lectures. A Latin typo does not mean that I need a lecture on Latin grammar, starting with how to decline servus - it simply means that I made a typo. An English typo does not mean that I have a very loose grip on the English language and need to be taught basic spelling: it simply means that I made a typo.

Also, the British spelling and diction I use differs some from the American one. "Offence" with a C is not a typo, and neither is "succour." Please consider this before you write to me to correct what you believe to be a typo - it will save both of us time and effort.

Breves - Short Phrases (separate page)
Postclassica - Modern Phrases
Praecepti - Mottoes (separate page)

De Auctoribus - About the Authors


Abiit, excessit, evasit, erupit.
He has left, absconded, escaped and disappeared.
(Cicero, In Catilinam)
Ab ovo usque ad mala.
From the egg right to the apple (i.e. from the beginning to the end).
(Horatius, Ars poetica)
Accipere quam facere praestat injuriam.
It is better to suffer an injustice than to do an injustice.
(Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes)
Acta est fabula, plaudite!
The play is over, applaud!
(Suetonius, Vitae Caesarum, Divus Augustus. Said to have been emperor Augustus' last words. The phrase was often used at the end of Roman plays, to let the audience know that they had reached the end of the piece.)
Ad Kalendas Graecas.
Until the Greek Kalendae.
(Suetonius, Vitae Caesarum, Divus Augustus. To postpone something "ad Kalendas Graecas" meant it would never be done - the Roman name Kalendae for the first day of the month didn't have a Greek equivalent.)
Ad nocendum potentes sumus.
We have the power to harm.
(Seneca Philosophus, De ira)
Aegroto, dum anima est, spes esse dicitur.
It is said that for a sick man, there is hope as long as there is life.
(Cicero, Ad Atticum)
Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem.
Remember, when life's path is steep, to keep your mind even.
(Horatius, Carmina)
Agnosco veteris vestigia flammae.
I recognise the vestige of that fading flame.
(Vergilius, Aenis)
Aliena nobis, nostra plus aliis placent.
We like other people's (things) the best; others like ours.
(Publilius Syrus)
  Aliis si licet, tibi non licet.
Even though it is permitted for others, it isn't permitted for you.
(Terentius, Heautontimorumenos. Cf. quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi and duo cum faciunt idem, non est idem.)
Amantium irae, amoris integratio est.
The anger of lovers is what brings love together.
Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur.
A sure friend shows himself in the uncertain. (A friend in need is a friend indeed.)
(Ennius, quoted by Cicero.)
Amicus curiae
Friend of the court
(N/A; legal maxim referring to a party that is allowed to provide information to a court even though the party is not directly involved in the case at hand.)
Amicus verus est rara avis.
A true friend is a rare bird.
Amor animi arbitrio sumitur, non ponitur.
We choose to love, we do not choose to cease loving.
(Publilius Syrus)
Amor et melle et felle est fecundissimus.
Love is rich with both honey and venom.
(Plautus, Cistellaria)
Amor vincit omnia et nos cedamus amori.
Love conquers all and let us yield to love.
(Vergilius, Eclogae)
Aquila non captat muscas.
The eagle doesn't capture flies.
Argentum accepti, dote imperium vendidi.
I have accepted the money and for a dowry sold my freedom.
(Plautus, Asinaria)
Ars longa, vita brevis.
Art is long, life is short.
(Seneca Philosophus, De brevitate vitae)
At non effugies meos iambos.
But you cannot escape my iambi.
(Catullus, fragments)
At vindicta bonum vita iucundius ipsa.
But revenge is sweeter than life itself.
(Juvenalis, Saturae)
Audentes fortuna iuvat.
Fortune favours the brave.
(Vergilius, Aenis)
  Audiatur et altera pars.
May the other part also be heard.
(N/A. Cf. Qui statuit aliquid parte inaudita altera, aequum licet statuerit.)
Augescunt aliae gentes, aliae minuuntur; inque brevi spatio mutantur saecia animantum et quasi cursores vitae lampada tradunt.
Some people increase, others diminish; and in a short space, the generations of living creatures are changed and like runners pass on the torch of life.
(Lucretius, De Rerum Natura)
Aurora Musis amica.
Dawn is friend of the muses. (Early bird catches the worm.)
Ave, imperator, morituri te salutant.
Hail, emperor, those who will die salute you.
(Suetonius, Vitae Caesarum, Claudius. The fighters' greeting to the emperor before gladiatorial games.)
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Bellaque matribus detestata.
The war, hated by mothers.
(Horatius, Carmina)
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
(From the Sanctus of the Catholic mass.)
Beneficium accipere libertatem est vendere.
To accept a favour is to sell freedom.
(Publilius Syrus)
Bene qui latuit, bene vixit.
One who lives well, lives unnoticed.
(Ovidius, Tristia)
Bibere humanum est, ergo bibamus.
To drink is human, let us therefore drink.
Bibamus, moriendum est.
Let us drink, death is inevitable.
(Seneca Rhetor, Controversiae)
Bis dat qui cito dat.
He gives twice, who gives promptly.
(Publilius Syrus)
Brevis ipsa vita est sed malis fit longior.
Our life is short but is made longer by misfortunes.
(Publilius Syrus)
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Caelum, non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt.
They change the sky, but not their souls, who hasten across the sea.
(Horatius, Epistulae)
Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet.
A timid dog barks more violently than it bites.
(Curtius Rufus)
Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero!
Pluck the day; do not expect anything from tomorrow!
(Horatius, Carmina)
Caveat emptor
Buyer beware
Cave canem!
Beware of the dog!
(Inscription at the entry of Roman houses.)
Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea laudi.
May arms yield to the toga (the gown of peace), may the glory of war give way to the glory of peaceful feats.
(Cicero, Poetica fragmenta)
Certum est, quia impossibile.
It is certain, because it is impossible.
(Tertullianus, De carne Christi. Later in the form Credo, quia absurdum - I believe, although it is absurd.)
Cito enim arescit lacrima, praesertim in alienis malis.
Tears dry quickly, especially when they are for others' misfortunes.
(Cicero, De partitione oratoria)
Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur.
Nobody should be punished for his thoughts.
(Corpus Iuris Civilis. Cf. liberae sunt nostrae cogitationes.)
Commodum ex iniuria sua nemo habere debet.
No person ought to have advantage from his own wrong.
Concordia parvae res crescunt, discordia maximae dilabuntur.
Through unity the small thing grows, through disunity the largest thing crumbles.
(Sallustius, Jugurtha)
Coniecturalem artem esse medicinam.
Medicine is the art of guessing.
(Aulus Cornelius Celsus, De medicina)
Consuetudinis magna vis est.
The force of habit is great.
(Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes)
Consuetudo quasi altera natura.
Habit is our second nature.
(Cicero, De finibus)
Contraria contrariis curantur.
The opposite is cured with the opposite.
Contumeliam si dices, audies.
If you insult, you will be insulted.
Plautus, Pseudolus)
Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.
The more corrupt the state is, the more numerous are the laws.
(Tacitus, Annales)
Credo certe ne cras.
I believe with certainty that there is no tomorrow.
(A famous tomb inscription.)
Crescit amor nummi, quantum ipsa pecunia crevit.
The love of wealth grows as the wealth itself grows.
(Juvenalis, Saturae)
Cui bono?
To whose profit?
(Cicero, Pro Milone)
Cui peccare licet peccat minus.
One who is allowed to sin, sins less.
(Ovidius, Amores)
Cui placet obliviscitur, cui dolet meminit.
He forgets that which pleases him, but remembers the pain he suffers.
(Cicero, Pro Murena)
Cuiusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare.
Anybody can err, but only the fool persists in his fault.
(Cicero, Philippicae orationes. Often quoted errare humanum est, ignoscere divinum - to err is human, to forgive divine.)
Cum grano salis
With a grain of salt
(Plinius the Elder?)
Cum tacent, clamant.
When they are silent, they cry out.
(Cicero, In Catalinam)
Cura posterior.
A later concern.
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De gustibus non est disputandum.
You should not argue about taste.
De mortuis nihil nisi bene.
Nothing but good about the dead.
(Cheilon of Sparta; quoted by Horatius)
De nihilo nihil.
Nothing comes from nothing.
(Lucretius, De rerum natura)
Deus ex machina.
A god from the machine.
(Originally an expression from the ancient Greek theatre, where the conflict often was solved by a god who entered the stage with the help of some kind of machinery. Today often used in a transferred sense about an unexpected and unlikely denoument of a dramatic situation.)
Deus nobiscum, quis contra?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Versio Vulgata, Rom. 8.31)
Dictum, factum.
Said and done.
(Terentius, Heautontimorumenos)
Diem perdidi!
I have lost a day!
(Suetonius, Vitae Caesarum, Titus. Said to have been exclaimed by Emperor Titus when a day had passed without him doing good to somebody.)
Difficile est saturam non scribere.
It is hard not to write satire.
(Juvenalis, Saturae)
Dimidium facti, qui coepit, habet.
He has done half, who has begun.
(Horatius, Epistula)
Dii minores
Lesser gods
(Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes. About the "lower class" gods in Roman mythology; sometimes used jokingly about people who aren't very important or less important than others present.)
Dimidium facti qui coepit habet.
Half is done when the beginning is done.
(Horatius, Epistulae)
Dira necessitas.
The dire necessity.
(Horatius, Carmina)
Docendo discimus.
We learn by teaching.
(After Seneca Philosophus, homines dum docent discunt - men learn while they teach.)
Dulce bellum inexpertis.
War is sweet for those who haven't experienced it.
(Translated from Pindaros)
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
It is sweet and glorious to die for one's country.
(Horatius, Carmina)
Dulcis vita.
A pleasant life.
(Lucretius, De rerum natura)
Dum excusare credis, accusas.
When you believe you are excusing yourself, you are accusing yourself.
(St. Jerome? (probably one of his disciples), Epistulae)
Dum inter homines sumus, colamus humanitatem.
As long as we are among humans, let us be humane.
(Seneca Philosophus, De ira)
Dum spiro, spero.
While I breathe, I hope.
(Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum)
  Duo cum faciunt idem, non est idem.
When two do the same thing, it isn't the same (i.e. one can get away with doing something while another cannot.)
(Terentius, Adelphoe. Cf. quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi and aliis si licet, tibi non licet.)
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Ecce homo!
Behold the man!
(Versio Vulgata, Ioh. 19.5)
Epistula non erubescit.
A letter doesn't blush.
(Cicero, Epistulae ad familiares)
Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides; cuius fidei merces est videre quod credis. Sententia nova
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
(St. Augustine, Sermones)
Est deus in nobis.
There is a god inside us.
(Ovidius, Fasti)
Est quaedam flere voluptas.
There is a kind of pleasure in crying.
(Ovidius, Tristia)
Et in Arcadia ego.
I, too, have been in Arcadia. (I.e. Death is in Arcadia as well.)
Et tu, Brute.
And you, my Brutus.
(Julius Caesar's words when he saw his favourite, Brutus, among his assassins. In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, the words are in Latin, but according to Suetonius, they were in Greek - if ever said.)
Exegi monumentum aere perennius.
I have made a monument more permanent than copper.
(Horatius, Carmina; referring to his poems.)
  Exitus acta probat.
The result validates the deeds.
(Ovidius, Heroides. Cf. finis coronat opus.)
Ex iniuria ius non oritur
Right can not grow out of injustice
(N/A; a legal maxim)
Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor.
May an avenger one day raise from my bones.
(Vergilius, Aenis)
Ex oriente lux, ex occidente lex.
From the east the light, from the west the law.
Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
Outside the Church, no salvation.
(Cyprianus, Epistulae)
Ex ungue leonem.
You know the lion from its claw.
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Faber est suae quisque fortunae.
Every man is the artisan of his own fortune.
(Appius Claudius Caecus)
Facilius est multa facere quam diu.
It is easier to do many things than to do one for a long time.
(Quintilianus, Institutio oratoria)
Facis de necessitate virtutem.
You make necessity a virtue.
(St. Jerome, Adversus Rufum)
Facito aliquid operis, ut te semper diabolus inveniat occupatum.
Always do something, so that the devil always finds you occupied.
(St. Jerome, Epistulae)
Factum est illud, fieri infectum non potest.
Done is done, it cannot be made undone.
(Plautus, Aulularia)
Fama crescit eundo.
The rumour grows as it goes.
(N/A; cf. Vergilius, Aenis)
Fama volat.
The rumour has wings.
(Vergilius, Aenis)
Fas est et ab hoste doceri.
One should also learn from one's enemy.
(Ovidius, Metamorphoses)
Favete linguis.
Honour (the ceremony) with your tongues (i.e., be devoutly quiet).
(Horatius, Carmina; the Roman priest's exhortation to the people to be quiet during the sacred ceremonies.)
Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.
(Men readily believe what they want to believe.
(Julius Caesar, Commentarii de bello Gallico)
  Finis coronat opus.
The ending crowns the work.
(N/A. Cf. exitus acta probat.)
Fortuna multis dat nimis, nulli satis.
Fortune gives many too much but nobody enough.
(Martialis, Epigrammaton liber)
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Gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace towards men of good will .
(Versio Vulgata, Luc. 2.14)
Graeca sunt, non leguntur.
It is Greek, you don't read that.
Grammatici certant, et adhuc sub iudice lis est.
The scholars quarrel, and the case lies still undecided in the hands of the judge. (On that point the learned disagree.)
(Horatius, Ars poetica)
Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo.
The drop excavates the stone, not with force but by falling often.
(Ovidius, Ex Ponto)
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Haec ego non multis (scribo), sed tibi: satis enim magnum alter alteri theatrum sumus.
I write this not to the many, but to you only, for you and I are surely enough of an audience for each other.
(Epicurus, quoted by Seneca Philosophus.)
Hannibal ante portas.
Hannibal before the gates.
(Cicero, Philippicae orationes)
Haud semper errat fama, aliquando et eligit.
Rumour is not always in error, sometimes it chooses.
(Tacitus, Agricola)
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
Here is Rhodes; jump here!
(According to legend, said to a man who boasted that he had made a huge jump on Rhodes.)
Hinc illae lacrimae.
Hence these tears.
(Terentius, Andria)
Hoc tempore obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit.
In these days friends are won through flattery, the truth gives birth to hate.
(Terentius, Andria)
Hominem ad duas res, ut ait Aristoteles, ad intelligendum et ad agendum, esse natum.
Man is born to two things, as Aristotle says: to understand and to act.
(Cicero, De finibus)
Homo novus
A new (self-made) man
(Used about somebody who had gained success but wasn't of the nobility. Cicero was a typical homo novus.)
Honores mutant mores.
The honours change the customs. (Power corrupts.)
Honor est praemium virtutis.
Honour is virtue's reward.
(Cicero, Brutus)
Horas non numero nisi serenas.
I count only the bright hours.
(Inscription on ancient sundials.)
Humanum amarest, humanum autem ignoscerest.
It is human to love, it is also human to forgive.
(Plautus, Mercator)
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Iacta alea est!
The die is cast!
(According to Suetonius, said by Julius Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon.)
Id certum est quod certum reddi potest.
That is certain that can be made certain.
Idem velle atque idem nolle, ea demum firma amicitia est.
(To want) the same in intentions and disinclinations is what makes a firm friendship.
(Sallustius, Bellum Catilinae)
Ignorantia juris nocet.
Ignorance of the laws harm.
(N/A; legal maxim used to show that ignorance about the laws and regulations in force cannot be used in court as grounds for an acquittal, or even as mitigating circumstances.)
Ille dolet vere, qui sine teste dolet.
He mourns honestly who mourns without witnesses.
(Martialis, Epigrammaton liber)
Illi robur et aes triplex circa pectus erat, qui fragilem truci commisit pelago ratem primus.
As hard as oak and three times bronze was the heart of him who first committed a fragile vessel to the keeping of wild waves.
(Horatius, Carmina)
Imitatores, servum pecus!
Imitators, you slavish crowd!
(Horatius, Epistulae)
Imperium et libertas
Autocracy and freedom
(Tacitus, Agricola; praise to the Emperor Nerva for having been able to combine two otherwise incompatible things.)
Impossibilium nulla obligatio est.
Nobody has any obligation to the impossible.
(Corpus Iuris Civilis: Digesta)
In aere aedificare.
Build (castles) in the air.
(St. Augustine, Confessiones)
Inde ira et lacrimae.
Hence wrath and tears.
(Juvenalis, Saturae)
In dubiis non est agendum.
In dubious cases, you should not act.
Ingenia levitas et erudita vanitas.
Inborn levity and learnt vanity.
(Cicero, Pro Flacco)
Iniqua nunquam regna perpetuo manent.
Stern masters do not reign long.
(Seneca Philosophus, Medea)
Iniuria non excusat iniuriam.
One wrong does not justify another.
In magnis et voluisse sat est.
To once have wanted is enough in great deeds.
(Propertius, Elegies)
Innocue vivite, numen adest.
Live without faults; the deity is present.
(Ovidius, Ars amandi)
Inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te.
Our heart is anxious until it finds peace in you.
(St. Augustine, Confessiones)
In spiritu et veritate
In spirit and truth
(Versio Vulgata, Ioh. 4.24)
Inter pocula
Between the cups
(Vergilius, Georgica)
In vino veritas
In wine is truth
Invita Minerva, ut aiunt.
Against Minerva's will, as they say (i.e. without aptitude and qualifications).
(Cicero, De officiis)
Ira furor brevis est.
Anger is a brief insanity.
(Horatius, Epistulae)
Is fecit, cui prodest.
He has done it, whom it gains.
Iucundi acti labores.
Surmounted labours are pleasant.
(Cicero, De finibus)
Iurare in verba magistri.
Swear on the master's words.
(Horatius, Epistulae)
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Labor improbus omnia vincit.
Assiduous labour conquers everything.
(Vergilius, Georgica)
Latet anguis in herba.
A snake lies in the grass.
(Vergilius, Eclogae)
Laudant illa, sed ista legunt.
Some (writing) is praised, but other is read.
(Martialis, Epigrammaton liber)
Leges bonae ex malis moribus procreantur.
Good laws are born of bad customs.
(Macrobius, Saturnalia)
Libenter homines et id quod volunt, credunt.
What men wish, they like to believe
(Julius Caesar, Commentarii de bello Gallico)
Liberae sunt nostrae cogitationes.
Our thoughts are free.
(Cicero, Pro Milone. Cf. Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur.)
Liber librorum
The Book of Books
(I.e., the Bible)
Liber mihi opus est.
I need a book.
Libertas inaestimabilis res est.
Liberty is a thing beyond all price.
(Corpus Iuris Civilis: Digesta)
Licentia poetica.
Poetic licence.
(Seneca Philosophus, Quaestiones naturales)
Longum iter est per praecepta, breve et efficax per exempla.
The way is made long through rules, but short and effective through examples.
(Seneca Philosophus, Epistulae morales)
Lucus a non lucendo.
A grove is so called because it doesn't glow.
(After Quintilianus, De institutione oratoria. Often used as an example of incorrect etymology.)
Lupus est homo homini.
Man is man's wolf.
(Plautus, Asinaria)
Lupus in fabula.
The wolf in the tale. (I.e. speak of the wolf, and he will come)
(Terentius, Adelphoe)
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Magnas inter opes inops.
A pauper in the midst of wealth.
(Horatius, Carmina)
Magna vis veritatis quae facile se per se ipsa defendat.
Great is the power of truth that can easily defend itself with its own force.
Maior e longinquo reverentia.
Reverence grows at a distance.
(Tacitus, Annales)
Male parta male dilabuntur.
What has been wrongly gained is wrongly lost. (Ill-gotten gains seldom prosper.)
(Cicero, Philippicae orationes)
Malum quidem nullum esse sine aliquo bono.
There is no evil without something good.
(Plinius the Elder, Naturalis historia)
Manum de tabula!
(Remove) your hand from the board! (Enough! Hold it!)
(Cicero, Epistulae ad familiares)
Manus manum lavat.
One hand washes the other.
(Seneca Philosophus, Apocolocyntosis)
Margaritas ante porcos iacere.
Throw pearls before the swine.
(Versio Vulgata, Matt. 7.6)
Mater artium necessitas.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Mea mihi conscientia pluris est quam omnium sermo.
My conscience means more to me than all speech.
(Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum)
Medice, cura te ipsum!
Physician, heal thyself!
(Versio Vulgata, Luc. 4.23)
Medicus curat, natura sanat.
The physician treats, nature cures.
Medio tutissimus ibis.
You will go safest in the middle.
(Ovidius, Metamorphoses)
Melius est praevenire quam praeveniri.
Better to forestall than to be forestalled.
Melius frangi quam flecti.
It is better to break than to bend.
Mendacem memorem esse oportet.
A liar needs a good memory.
(Quintilianus, De institutione oratoria)
Mendaci homini, ne verum quidem dicenti, credere solemus.
Liars aren't believed even when they are telling the truth.
(Cicero, De divitatione)
Mens agitat molem.
The mind moves the matter.
(Vergilius, Aenis)
Mens sana in corpore sano.
A sound mind in a sound body.
(Juvenalis, Saturae)
Mirabile dictu.
Wonderful to relate.
(Vergilius, Aenis)
Mors ultima linea rerum est.
Death is everything's final limit.
(Horatius, Epistulae)
Multos timere debet, quem multi timent.
He has to fear many who is feared by many.
(Publilius Syrus, Sententiae. Also in Seneca Philosophus as necesse est multos timeat, quem multi timent, "it is necessary for him who is feared by many to fear many.")
Multum legendum esse, non multa.
You should read much, not many (books).
(Plinius the Younger; often quoted only as multum non multa, "much, not many".)
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Nam curiosus nemo est, quin sit malevolus.
For nobody is curious, who isn't malevolent.
(Plautus, ?)
Nam tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet.
It is your business when your neighbour's house is on fire.
(Horatius, Epistulae)
Navigare necesse est.
To sail is necessary.
(From Plutarchos)
Ne bis in idem.
Not twice the same.
(Canones apostulorum; a legal maxim meaning that a person cannot be sentenced twice for the same crime.)
Necessitas non habet legem.
Necessity knows no law.
Nec quicquam insipiente fortunato intolerabilius fieri potest.
Nothing is more insufferable than a successful fool.
(Cicero, De amicitia)
Ne furtum facias.
Thou shalt not steal.
(The seventh commandment.)
Nemo ante mortem beatus.
Nobody should be called happy before his death.
(Ovidius, Metamorphoses)
Nemo autem regere potest nisi qui et regi.
But nobody can rule who cannot also be ruled.
(Seneca Philosophus, De ira)
Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit.
Almost nobody dances sober, unless he happens to be insane.
(Cicero, Pro Murena)
Nemo me impune lacessit.
Nobody insults me with impunity.
(The motto of the Scottish crown.)
Nemo nascitur artifex.
Nobody is born an artist.
Nemo risum praebuit, qui ex se coepit.
Nobody is laughed at, who laughs at himself.
(Seneca Philosophus, De providentia)
Nemo sine vitio est.
Nobody is without fault.
Ne quid nimis.
Nothing in excess.
(Terentius, Andria)
Nervos belli, pecuniam. (Nervus rerum.)
The nerve of war, money. (The nerve of things.)
(Cicero, Pilippicae orationes)
Nihil agere delectat.
It is pleasant to do nothing.
(Cicero, De oratore)
Nihil est ab omni parte beatum.
Nothing is good in every part.
(Horatius, Carmina)
Nihil est incertius vulgo.
Nothing is more uncertain than the (favour of the) crowd.
(Cicero, Pro Murena)
Nihil in hominum genere rarius perfecto oratore inveniri potest.
Nothing is more unusual amongst mankind than the perfect speaker.
(Cicero, De oratore)
Nihil inimicius quam sibi ipse.
Nothing is more hostile than oneself against oneself. (Man is his own worst enemy.)
(Cicero, Ad atticum)
Nihil peccat nisi quod nihil peccat.
His only fault is that he doesn't have any faults.
(Plinius the Younger, Epistulae)
Nihil tam munitum quod non expugnari pecunia possit.
No fort is so strong that it cannot be taken with money.
(Cicero, In Verrem)
Nil admirari.
To admire nothing.
(Horatius, Epistulae; described as a condition for human happiness.)
Nil agit exemplum, litem quod lite resolvit.
Not much worth is an example that solves one quarrel with another.
(Horatius, Satirae)
Nil desperandum!
Never despair!
(Horatius, Carmina)
Noli equi dentes inspicere donati.
Do not look a gift horse in the mouth.
(St. Jerome, Commentarius in epistulam Pauli ad Ephesos)
Noli me tangere!
Don't touch me!
(Versio Vulgata, Ioh. 20.17)
Noli turbare circulos meos!
Don't upset my calculations!
(Said to have been Archimedes' words to a Roman soldier during the conquest of Syracuse. The soldier answered by slaying him.)
Nomen et omen.
Name and omen (the name forebodes).
(Plautus, Persa)
Nomina sunt odiosa.
Names are hateful.
(Cicero, Pro Roscio)
Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare:
hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te.
I do not like you, Sabidius, but I can't say why:
I can only say this, I do not like you.

(Martialis, Epigrammaton liber)
Non est, crede mihi, sapientis dicere "Vivam." Sera nimis vita est crastina: vive hodie.
Believe me, "I shall live" is not the saying of a wise man. Tomorrow's life is too late: live today.
(Martialis, Epigrammata)
Non est vivere, sed valere vita est.
It is not to live but to be healthy that makes a life.
(Martialis, Epigrammata)
Non mortem timemus, sed cogitationem mortis.
We do not fear death, but the thought of death.
(Seneca Philosophus, Epistulae morales)
Non omne quod licet honestum est.
Not everything that is permitted is honest.
(Corpus Iuris Civilis: Digesta)
Non omne quod nitet aurum est.
Not all that glitters is gold.
Non omnia possumus omnes.
Everybody cannot do everything.
(Vergilius, Eclogae)
Non omnis moriar.
I will not die entirely.
(Horatius, Carmina - in reference to his written work.)
Non qui parum habet, sed qui plus cupit, pauper est.
It is not the man who has little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
(Seneca Philosophus, Epistulae morales)
Non scholae sed vitae discimus.
We do not learn for school, but for life.
(Seneca Philosophus, Epistulae morales)
Non sibi se soli natum meminerit (homo), sed patriae, sed suis. (Aliis, non sibi.)
A man should remember that he is not born solely for his own sake, but for his country, and for his family. (For others, not for oneself.)
(Cicero, De finibus)
Non ut edam vivo, sed ut vivam edo.
I do not live to eat, but eat to live.
(Quintilianus, Instituitio oratoria)
Nosce te ipsum.
Know thyself
(Inscription at the temple of Apollo in Delphi.)
Nuda veritas
The naked truth
(Horatius, Carmina)
Nulla regula sine exceptione.
No rule without exception.
Nulla res carius constat quam quae precibus empta est.
Nothing is so expensive as that which you have bought with pleas.
(Seneca Philosophus, De beneficiis)
Nullum esse librum tam malum ut non aliqua parte prodesset.
No book is so bad that no part of it is useful.
(Plinius the Younger, Epistulae)
Nullum est iam dictum quod non dictum sit prius.
Nothing is said that hasn't been said before.
(Terentius, Eunuchus)
Numero deus impare gaudet.
God loves odd numbers.
(Vergilius, Eclogae)
Numquam magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit.
There has never been a great spirit without a touch of insanity.
(Seneca Philosophus, De tranquillitate animis)
Numquam non paratus.
Never unprepared.
Numquam sapiens irascitur.
The wise man never flies into a rage.
(Cicero, Pro Murena)
Numquam se minus solum quam cum solus esset.
You are never so little alone as when you are alone.
(Cicero, De officiis)
Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus.
Now is the time for drinking, now free feet will beat the earth.
(Horatius, Carmina; about the death of Cleopatra)
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Oderint, dum metuant.
May they hate me, if only they fear me.
(Suetonius, Vitae Caesarum, Caligula)
Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
Nescio. Sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
I hate and I love. Perhaps you ask me why.
I don't know. But I feel, tormented, that it is so.

(Catullus, Carmina)
Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.
I loathe the uneducated mass and keep them away from me.
(Horatius, Carmina. Hence the expression "vulgus profanum", the uneducated mass.)
Oleum et operam perdidi.
I have wasted oil and toil.
(Plautus, Poenulus; the young girl's complaint about ointments as beauty preparation, and Cicero, Ad Atticum; about the oil in the reading lamp.)
O fortunatam natam me consule Romam!
Oh, how lucky Rome is to have been born under my consulate!
Cicero, De consulatu suo)
Omen accipio.
I accept the omen. (A good omen.)
(Cicero, De divitatione.)
Omne ignotum pro magnifico est.
We have great notions of everything unknown.
(Tacitus, Agricola)
Omnis una manet nox.
The same night awaits us all.
(Horatius, Carmina)
Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci.
He has won every vote who mingles profit with pleasure.
(Horatius, Ars Poetica)
Omnia mea mecum porto.
All that is mine, I carry with me.
(Cicero, Paradoxa)
Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.
Everything changes, nothing perishes.
(Ovidius, Metamorphoses)
Omnia praeclara rara.
All excellent things are rare. (Cicero, De amicitia)
Omnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amori.
Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love.
(Vergilius, Eclogae)
Omnibus omnia.
Everything for everybody.
(Versio Vulgata, 1 Cor. 9.22)
Omnium rerum principia parva sunt.
Everything has a small beginning.
(Cicero, De finibus)
Optima enim est legum interpres consuetudo.
Practice is the best interpreter of the law.
(Corpus Iuris Civilis: Digesta)
O tempora! O mores!
O times! O customs!
(Cicero, In Catilinam)
Otium cum dignitate.
Rest with dignity.
(Cicero, De oratore)
Otium sine litteris mors est et hominis vivi sepultura.
Rest without reading is like dying and being buried alive.
(Seneca Philosophus, Epistulae morales)
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Pacta sunt servanda.
Agreements are to be kept.
(Cicero, Philippicae Orationes)
Paete, non dolet.
It doesn't hurt, Paetus.
(Acc. to Plinius's, Epistulae, the Roman woman Arria's words to her husband Caecina Paetus, who had taken part in an uprising against Emperor Claudius and been sentenced to commit suicide. When her husband hesitated, she plunged the dagger into her own chest and then gave it to him with these words.)
Panem et circencses
Bread and circuses
(Juvenalis, Saturae; referring to the distribution of corn and the setting up of circuses that kept the popular favour in Rome.)
Pars maior lacrimas ridet et intus habet.
You smile at your tears but have them in your heart.
(Martialis, Epigrammaton liber)
Pater patriae.
Father of the country.
(Cicero, Pro Sestio. Honorific given to Cicero after the conflict with Catalina in 63 B.C.)
Pater, peccavi.
Father, I have sinned.
(Versio Vulgata, Luc. 15.17)
Per aspera ad astra.
Through difficulties to the stars.
(Origin unknown; Seneca Philosophus, Hercules)
Pereant, qui ante nos nostra dixerunt!
Damn them, who before us have said what we wanted to say!
(St. Jerome, In Ecclesiasten commentarius)
Periculum in mora.
Danger in delay
(Livius, Ab urbe condita)
Perierat totus orbis, nisi iram finiret misericordia.
The entire world would have perished unless compassion had limited the hatred.
(Seneca Rhetor, Controversiae)
Per tot discrimina rerum tendimus in Latium.
Through so many dangers, we arrived in Latium.
(Vergilius, Aenis)
Pessimum inimicorum genus, laudantes.
The worst kind of enemies, are those who can praise.
(Tacitus, Agricola)
Pisces natare oportet.
Fish has to swim (i.e. when you eat fish, you have to drink).
(Petronius Arbiter, Satiricon)
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
After this, therefore because of it.
(N/A; used to describe an error in logical reasoning.)
Post festum.
After the feast (i.e. too late)
(Plato, Gorgias)
Potius sero quam numquam.
It's better late than never.
(Livius, Ab urbe condita)
Praeterea censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.
Furthermore, I believe Carthage should be destroyed.
(Cato the Elder. After a journey to Carthage, the Roman senator concluded every speech before the senate with this phrase, no matter the topic of discussion.)
Primum est non nocere.
First of all, do no harm.
(Hippocrates; The maxim has become an ethical guiding principle in medicine.)
Principiis obsta, sero medicina paratur cum mala per longas convaluere moras.
Resist in the beginning; too late is the medicine prepared when evil has grown strong for a long time.
(Ovidius, Remedia amoris)
Pro aris et focis.
For house and hearth.
(Cicero, De natura deorum)
Probae etsi in segetem sunt deteriorem datae fruges, tamen ipsae suaptae enitent.
A good seed, planted even in poor soil, will bear rich fruit by its own nature.
(Accius, Atreus)
Promoveatur ut amoveatur.
Let him be promoted to get him out of the way.
Pro patria, pro liberis, pro aris atque focis suis certare.
For the country, for freedom, for house and hearth is our fight.
(Sallustius, Bellum Catilinae)
Proximus sum egomet mihi.
I am closest to myself. (Charity begins at home.)
(Terentius, Andria)
Pulvis et umbra sumus.
We are dust and shadow.
(Horatius, Carmina)
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Qualis rex, talis grex.
Like master, like man.
Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu.
The important thing isn't how long you live, but how well you live.
(Seneca Philosophus, Epistulae morales)
Quam multa non desidero!
How much there is that I do not want!
(Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes; said to have been exclaimed by Socrates.)
Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus.
Sometimes, even the good Homer slumbers.
(Horatius, Ars poetica)
Quem di diligunt adolescens moritur.
He whom the gods love dies young.
(Plautus, Bacchides)
Quia natura mutari non potest idcirco verae amicitiae sempiternae sunt.
Since nature cannot change, true friendships are eternal.
  Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.
Let him who wishes for peace prepare for war.
(Vegetius. Also quoted si vis pacem, para bellum.)
Qui dormit, non peccat.
One who sleeps doesn't sin.
Quid me nutruit me destruit.
That which nourishes me, destroys me.
Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur.
Why are you laughing? Change the name and the story is about you.
(Horatius, Satirae)
Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.
Whatever this may be, I fear the Greeks even when they're bringing gifts.
(Vergilius, Aenis. The priest Laokoon's warning when seeing the Trojan horse.)
Qui genus jactat suum, aliena laudat.
He who boasts of his descent, praises the deeds of another.
(Seneca Philosophus, Hercules furens)
Qui ignorabat, ignorabitur.
One who is ignorant will remain unnoticed.
Qui nimium probat, nihil probat.
One who proves too much, proves nothing.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Who is to guard the guards themselves?
(Iuvenalis, Saturae)
Qui tacet, consentit
Silence gives consent.
Quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando?
Who, what, where, with what, why, how, when?
  Qui statuit aliquid parte inaudita altera, aequum licet statuerit, haud aequus fuit.
One who passes sentence on something without having heard the other part isn't just, even if the sentence is juste.
(Seneca Philosophus, Medea. Cf. audiatur et altera pars.)
Quod bonum, felix faustumque sit!
May it be good, fortunate and prosperous!
(Words spoken when the Roman senate opened its session. Quoted by Cicero in De divitatione)
  Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi.
What Jupiter may do, the ox may not.
(I.e., what is permitted for a high-ranking person isn't permitted for everybody. Cf. aliis si licet, tibi non licet. and duo cum faciunt idem, non est idem.)
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
What I have written, I have written.
(Versio Vulgata, Ioh. 19.22)
Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?
How long now, Catalina, will you abuse our patience?
(Cicero, In Catilinam. The beginning of Cicero's first speech against Catalina.)
Quot homines, tot sententiae: suus quique mos.
How many men, so many thoughts: everyone has his customs.
(Terentius, Phormio)
Quo vadis, Domine?
Where are you going, Lord?
(Question said to be asked by St. Peter when he, fleeing the Rome and the persecutions of the Christians by emperor Nero, met Jesus at the city gates.)
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Relata refero.
I tell what I have been told.
Respice post te, mortalem te esse memento.
Look around you, remember that you are mortal.
(According to Tertullianus, words whispered by a slave when his master entered Rome in triumph after winning a battle.)
Rem tene, verba sequentur.
Keep to the subject and the words will follow.
(Cato the Elder, acc. to Iulius Victor)
Rerum concordia discors.
The concord of things through discord.
(Horatius, Epistulae)
Rerum omnium magister usus.
Experience is teacher of all things.
(Julius Caesar, Commentarii de bello civili)
Res severa est verum gaudium.
True joy is a serious thing.
(Seneca Philosophus, Epistulae morales)
Ridentem dicere verum, quid vetat?
What prohibits us to tell the truth laughing (through a joke)?
(Horatius, Satirae)
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Saepe creat molles aspera spina rosas.
Often the prickly thorn produces tender roses
Salus populi suprema lex esto.
Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.
(Cicero, De legibus)
Sapere aude!
Dare to be wise!
(Horatius, Epistulae)
Sapiens ipse fingit fortunam sibi.
The wise man creates his destiny himself.
(Plautus, Trinummus)
Satis est potuisse videri.
It is enough to seem to have the power.
(Vergilius, Eclogae)
Satius est impunitum relinqui facinus nocentis, quam innocentem damnari.
It is better that a crime is left unpunished than that an innocent man is punished.
(Corpus Iuris Civilis: Digesta)
Sat sapienti.
Enough for a wise man.
(Plautus, Persa)
Secundae res mire sunt vitiis obtentui.
Prosperity has a wonderful way of hiding faults.
(Sallustius, Epistulae ad Caesarem)
Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus.
But meanwhile, the irreplaceable time escapes.
(Vergilius, Georgica. Usually, you only quote the last three words.)
Semel emissum volat irrevocabile verbum.
Once released, the word flies irrevocably.
(Horatius, Epistulae)
Semper idem.
Always the same.
(Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes. Said to have been Xantippa's words about Socrates' facial expression.)
Senectus est natura loquacior.
Old age is talkative by nature.
(Cicero, De senectute)
Serva me, servabo te.
Save me and I will save you.
(Petronius Arbiter)
Sic erat in fatis.
Thus it was written in destiny.
(Ovidius, Fasti)
Sic itur ad astra.
Thus, you go to the stars (i.e. gain reputation)
(Vergilius, Aenis)
Sic volo, sic iubeo.
I want this, I order this.
(Juvenalis, Saturae)
Si dis placet
If it pleases the gods
Silent enim leges inter arma.
Laws are silent in times of war.
(Cicero, Pro Milone.)
Si libet, licet.
If it pleases you, it is allowed.
(Scriptores historiae augustae; said to have been the "stepmother" Julia's response when her "stepson" Emperor Carcalla wanted her for his wife.)
Sine ira et studio.
Without anger or bias.
(Tacitus, Annales, about his history writing)
Sit venia verbo.
Let the word be allowed. (If I may say so.)
(A rephrasal of venia sit dicto, the said should be allowed; Plinius the Younger, Epistulae.)
Si vis amari, ama.
If you want to be loved, love
(Seneca Philosophus, Epistulae morales)
  Si vis pacem, para bellum.
If you want peace, prepare for war.
(From Vegetius; a version of qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.)
Solitudinem faciunt, pacem appelant.
They made a desert and called it peace.
(Tacitus, Agricola)
Spemque metumque inter dubii.
Hover between hope and fear.
(Vergilius, Aenis)
S.P.Q.R. (Senatus Populusque Romanus)
The Senate and the Roman people
(Abbreviation used on banners and the like in ancient Rome to show the world the unity between the Roman people and its rulers. Still officially used in Rome.)
Stat magni nominis umbra.
He stands in the shadow of a great name.
(Lucanus, Pharsalia. Said about Pompey.)
Stat sua cuique dies, breve et irreparabile tempus omnibus est vitae.
The day is decided for each and everyone, the lifespan is short and irreplaceable for everybody.
(Vergilius, Aenis)
Studium discendi voluntate, quae cogi non potest, constat.
Study depends on the good will of the student, a quality that cannot be secured by compulsion.
(Quintilianus, Institutio oratoria)
Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes.
It is foolish to fear what you cannot avoid.
(Publilius Syrus)
Summum ius, summa iniuria.
The extreme law is the greatest injustice.
(Cicero, De officiis)
Suum cuique.
To each and every one his own.
(Cicero, De officiis)
Suus cuique mos.
Everyone has his customs.
(Gellius, Noctes Atticae)
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Tamdiu discendum est, quamdiu vivas.
We should learn as long as we may live. (We live and learn.)
(Seneca Philosophus, Epistulae morales)
Tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem.
So great a burden was it to establish the Roman race.
(Vergilius, Aeneis)
Tempora quid faciunt.
The times do change.
(Martialis, Epigrammaton liber)
Tetigisti acu.
You have hit the nail on the head.
(Plautus, Rudens)
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Ubi bene, ibi patria.
Where one is happy, there is one's homeland.
(Pacuvius, Teucer)
Unus multorum.
One of many.
(Horatius, Satirae)
Unus sed leo.
One, but (it is) a lion.
(Translated from Aesop. The lioness to the vixen who boasted about her having many cubs when the lioness only had one.)
Urbs aeterna.
The eternal city (i.e. Rome)
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas.
Although the power is lacking, the will is commendable.
(Ovidius, Ex Ponto)
Utilius est autem absolvi innocentem quam nocentem causam non dicere.
It is more important that the innocent is acquitted than that the guilty is not brought to justice.
(Cicero, Pro Roscio Amerino)
Ut saepe summa ingenia in occulto latent.
How often do not the greatest geniuses remain hidden.
(Plautus, Captivi)
Ut sementem feceris, ita metes.
As you sow, so shall you reap.
(Cicero, De oratore.)
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Vae victis!
Woe to the conquered!
(Livius, Praefatio)
Vare, legiones redde!
Varus, give me back my legions!
(Acc. to Suetonius, exclaimed by Emperor Augustus when he heard that his governor Quintilius Varus and three entire legions had been killed in an ambush in the Teutoburger Forest.)
Variatio delectat
There's nothing like change!
(Cicero, De divinatione)
Veni, vidi, vici.
I came, I saw, I conquered.
(Written by Julius Caesar about his rapid victory in the Battle of Zela.)
Vera esse facimus nosmet ipsi.
We ourselves create the truth.
Verba volant, (littera) scripta manet.
Words fly away, the written (letter) remains.
Veritas vos liberabit.
The truth will set you free.
(Versio Vulgata, Ioh. 8.32)
Vestigia terrent.
The footprints frighten me.
(Horatius, Epistulae. From a story about a fox who saw footprints lead into, but not out of a lion's den.)
Vestis virum reddit.
The clothes make the man.
Videant consules ne quid detrimenti capiat respublica.
May the (Roman) consuls see to that no damage comes to the state.
(Phrase that gave the Roman consuls absolute power when the state was in a severe crisis. Quoted by Cicero in In Catilinam. )
Vide quam mihi persuaserim te me esse alterum.
See, how convinced I am that you are my second self.
(Cicero, Epistulae ad familiares)
Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis.
You know how to be victorious, Hannibal, but not how to take advantage of victory.
(According to Livius, words said by Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal when Hannibal did not attack Rome immediately after his victory at Cannae.)
Virtus est medium vitiorum.
Virtue is a middle course between vices.
(Horatius, Epistulae)
Vitiis nemo sine nascitur.
No-one is born without faults.
(Horatius, Satirae)
Vivere est cogitare.
To live is to think.
(Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes)
Vox populi, vox Dei.
The voice of the people is the voice of God.
(Translated from Homer, The Odyssey)
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat.
All of them wound, the last one kills.
(Referring to the hours; inscription sometimes found on clocks in churches and public spaces.)
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Postclassica - Modern Phrases


An nescis, mi fili, quantilla sapientia mundus regatur?
Don't you know then, my son, with how little wisdom the world is ruled?
(Said by the Swedish chancellor Axel Oxenstierna to encourage his son Johan when the son doubted his ability to represent Sweden at the Westphalian peace conference.)
Arte et Marte.
With peaceful effort and warlike feats.
(Inscription on the House of Nobility, Riddarhuset, in Stockholm)
Bellum omnium contra omnes.
Everybody's war against everybody.
(Thomas Hobbes)
Cogito, ergo sum.
I think, therefore I am.
(René Descartes, Discours de la méthode)
Claris maiorum exemplis.
After the forefathers' brilliant example.
(Part of the inscription on the House of Nobility, Riddarhuset, in Stockholm.)
De duobus malis minus est semper eligendum.
One must always choose the lesser of two evils.
(Thomas a Kempis)
Divide et impera.
Divide and rule.
(Louis XI; adopted by Macchiavelli)
Dubitando ad veritatem venimus.
We arrive at the truth being sceptical.
(Pierre Abélard, Sic et non?)
Hoc coactus sum.
To this, I am forced and compelled.
(According to legend, a secret reservation written by bishop Hans Brask of Linköping and hidden under his seal on a document he was reluctant to sign.)
Homo proponit, sed Deus disponit.
Man proposes, God disposes.
(Thomas a Kempis)
Ignoto militi
For the unknown soldier
(Inscription on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.)
Illegitimis non est carborundum.
Don't let the b******s grind you down.
(Gen. Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell. The phrase is actually "fake", since - however Latin it may sound - there is no Latin word carborundum.)
Illis quorum meruere labores.
For them whose labours have showed them deserving.
(The inscription on a Swedish service medal, instituted in 1785. Quoted from Propertius.)
Incidit Scyllam qui vult vitare Charybdin.
He falls into Scylla's hands who wants to avoid Charybdis.
(Gautier de Châtillon; from the story in Homer's Odyssee, about the sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis who flanked a narrow strait and pulled down passing ships.)
In hoc signo vinces.
In this sign, you will be victorious.
(Acc. to Eusebios, words next to a cross in the sky seen by emperor Constantine the Great before a battle.)
Inventas vitam iuvat excoluisse per artes.
Let us improve life through science and art.
(Inscription on the Nobel Prize winner medals. After Vergilius, Aenis.)
Locus enim est principium generationis rerum.
For place is the origin of things.
(Roger Bacon)
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
My fault, my fault, my great fault.
(From the Catholic confession, the threefold repetition referring to faults in thoughts, words and actions.)
Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.
The world wants to be betrayed, therefore let it be betrayed.
(Sebastian Brant)
Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.
For knowledge itself is power.
(Sir Francis Bacon)
Natura abhorret a vacuo. (Horror vacui.)
Nature abhors the void. (The fear of the void.)
(René Descartes)
Natura non facit saltus.
Nature doesn't make any leaps.
(Carl von Linné, Philosophia botanica)
Nemo nisi mors.
Nobody except death (will part us).
(Inscription in the wedding ring of the Swedish 16th century queen Katarina Jagellonica.)
Nihil est miserum nisi cum putes.
Nothing is unfortunate if you don't consider it unfortunate.
(Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae)
Nomina si nescis, perit et cognitio rerum.
If you do not know the names, the knowledge about the things vanishes as well.
(Carl von Linné, Critica botanica)
O sancta simplicitas!
Oh, holy simplicity!
(Jan Hus)
I have Sindh/sinned!
(British general Sir Charles James Napier to his commanding officer, Lord Ellenborough, after he had captured Sindh, in modern Pakistan.)
Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate.
Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.
(Principle known as Occam's Razor, used for example in physics.)
Primus inter pares.
First among equals.
(Used about someone who is the first in a group without having any authority over his/her colleagues, e.g. the Swedish archbishop.)
Sic transit gloria mundi.
Thus departs the glory of the world.
(The introductory words of a medieval hymn used at the inauguration of a newly elected pope.)
Si tacuisses, philosophus manisses.
If you had kept quiet, you would have remained a philosopher.
(Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae)
Taceant colloquia. Effugiat risus. Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae.
Let idle talk be silenced. Let laughter be banished. Here is the place where Death delights to succour life.
(Inscription over the entrance to the New York morgue.)
Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.
The times change, and we change with them.
(John Owen)
Ultima ratio regum.
The last argument of kings.
(Inscription on French cannons in the times of Louis XIV.)
Urbi et orbi.
To the city (Rome) and the world.
(Words usually pronounced by the Pope during his blessing, to show that they will spread to all the world.)
Uva uvam videndo varia fit.
A grape changes colour (ripens) when it sees (another) grape.
(This phrase derives from a scholia to Juvenal and is actually a misquotation of uvaque conspecta livorem ducit ab uva - a grape assumes a sickly hue from a nearby grape.)
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