Latin and Constitutional Law

Latin expressions

A fortiori – With yet stronger reason.
A posteriori – From what comes later: To reason a posteriori = to argue with the consequences of a hypothesis.
A priori – From what comes before: To conclude a priori.
Ab aeterno – From the beginning of time; from eternity.
Ab imo corde – From the bottom of one’s heart.
Ab imo pectore – From the bottom of the chest. Imus, a, um is an adjective (= intimate), which agrees with pectore.
Ab initio – From the beginning.
Ab ovo – From the beginning (literally, from the egg).
Ab uno disce omnes - From one example you may judge the rest .
Ab urbe condita – From the founding of the city (of Rome); 753 B.C., according to Livy's count; used as a reference point by the Romans for establishing dates, as we use A.D. today.
Abusus non tollit usum – Wrong use does not preclude proper use.
Abyssus abyssum invocat –– Troubles never come singly (literally, one abyss calls another).
Ad amussim – To the letter, with precision: To read a work ad amussim.
Ad hoc – (Constituted) for a particular purpose: Ad hoc secretary.
Ad kalendas graecas – On the Greek calends; on a date that does not exist, hence, never. (The calends was a date in the Roman month, and simply did not exist in the Greek calendar.)
Ad libitum – Freely; at ease; at one's pleasure; at will. To proceed ad libitum.
Ad literam – Literally, word for word: Translation ad literam.
Ad nutum –– (Dismissible) at will: To appoint officers ad nutum.
Ad perpetuam rei memoriam – For eternal remembrance of the fact. Monument ad perpetuam rei memoriam.
Ad referendum –– Subject to approval.
Age quod agis – Do what you are doing, dedicate yourself to what you are doing.
Alea iacta est - The die is cast.
Alienos rigas agros, tuis sitientibus – You water others’ fields, while yours are dry (absolute ablative).
Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas – Plato is my friend, but the truth is a greater friend.
Amor est vitae essentia – Love is the essence of life
Aquila non capit muscas – The eagle doesn’t catch flies (don’t bother about small things).
Bis – Twice: The audience demanded a bis.
Bis dat qui cito dat – He gives twice who gives promptly (Publilius Syrus).
Consummatum est – It is accomplished, it is completed
Coram populo – In the presence of the people (Horace).
Cornu bos capitur, voce ligatur homo – The bull is caught by the horns, the man by the word.
Corruptio optimi pessima – The corruption of the best is worst.
Cum charta cadit, omnis scientia vadit – When the paper falls, all the science goes away.
Cum grano salis – With a grain of salt.
Currente calamo –– As the pen runs; in haste (with the pen writing fast).
Data venia – With your permission.
De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum – One should not argue over matters of taste and color.
Dormientibus ossa – The bones to the sleepers. Those who arrive late get what’s left.
Dum tacent, clamant – When they are silent, they speak out loud.
Eadem per eadem – To pay in the same coin.
Errando discitur – One learns by one’s mistakes.
Est modus in rebus – There’s measure in things.
Et similia – ... and similar things: To write letters, descriptions, compositions et similia.
Ex abrupto – Suddenly, without preparation.
Ex cathedra – (Literally, from the (bishop's) chair): speaking with formal, official authority. Usually refers to an official pronouncement from the Pope. The Pope spoke ex cathedra = he spoke as supreme pontiff.
Ex corde - From the bottom of one’s heart.
Ex expositis – From what has been exposed or expounded.
Ex officio - By virtue of the office held; as a consequence one's duty or office.: A lawyer was appointed ex officio (by law) by the court on behalf of a defendant. To be an ex officio elector.
Ex positis – From what has been agreed.
Ex professo – as a teacher, authoritatively, with all perfection. To discourse on the matter ex professo.
Exclusive – Exclusively
Exempli gratia – For example; for the sake of example; for instance. Usually abbreviated e.g.
Gladiator in arena consilium capit –The gladiator is formulating his plan in the arena (i.e., too late) (Seneca).
Gratis – ... provided without payment; free.
Grosso modo – Superficially, approximately.
Ibidem – In the same place (in a book), by the same author (as in a previous reference).
Idem – The same.
In fine – At the end
In limine – On the threshold, at the outset. The reasons had been rejected in limine.
In perpetuum – For ever, perpetually.
In totum – As a whole, completely.
Inclusive – ... inclusively.
Infra – Below, on a later page.
Inter pocula – ... in the act of drinking, at the party: To discourse inter pocula. To act inter pocula = to act as a drunk.
Ipsis verbis – With precisely the same words.
Ipso facto – By that very fact, by the fact itself, thereby: He did not pay; ipso facto he did not take part in the draw.
Lato sensu – In a broad sense (the contrary of stricto sensu = in a strict sense).
Manus manum lavat – One hand washes the other. A favor for a favor (Petronius).
Mater artium necessitas –Nenessity is the mother of invention.
Maxime – Principally, chiefly.
Medice, cura te ipsum – Physician, heal thyself (Versio Vulgata).
Mors omnia solvit – Death dissolves everything.
Mortuo leone et lepores insultant – Even hares insult a dead lion (literally: the lion being dead, even the hares dance).
Mutatis mutandis – With necessary changes being made.
Nascuntur poetae, fiunt oratores – A poet is born but an orator is made.
Ne sutor ultra crepidam – Shoemaker, do not go beyond (your competence in respect of) shoes. - It is said that a Greek painter was painting a warrior, but he was uncertain on how to render his shoe (crepida); he then asked a cobbler (sutor) and the latter explained what was required. But then the cobbler started criticizing other parts of the painting, so the artist asked him to keep within the limits of his competence
Nemo propheta in patria sua – No one is a prophet in his own land.
Nemo sua sorte contentus – No one is satisfied with his own lot.
Non vi, virtute – No by stenght, but by merit.
Pari passu – With equal speed; simultaneously and equally. To keep up with something pari passu = to keep up with it in every respect.
Per fas et per nefas– Indiscriminately, willy-nilly, by any means: I´ll achieve my purpose per fas et nefas.
Primo – In the first place.
Pro forma – For the sake of form; as a matter of formality; made or carried out in a perfunctory manner or as a formality.
Philosophum non facit barba – The beard does not define a philosopher (Plutarch).
Quantum satis ou quantum sufficit – As much as suffices.
Qui bene olet, male olet – One who puts on perfume doesn´t smell good.
Qui semel furatur, semper fur est –– Once a thief, always a thief
Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi – What Jupiter (supreme God) is allowed to do, catlle (people) are not.
Quod non fecerunt barbari, Barberini fecerunt – What the barbarians didn’t do, the Barberini have done (apropos of Urban VIII, Maffeo Barberini, for having ordered the removal of the bronze that covered the Pantheon portico). Sovereigns can be pirates
Retro – ... behind.
Roma locuta, causa finita – Rome has spoken; the case is over.
Secundo – In second place.
Si vis, potes – If you wish, you can. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Sic – thus used, spelt etc.
Sine die – (Literally, without a day.) Without a specific day being set. With no time fixed. Without stipulating a day. Without any future date being designated (as for reconvening, for resumption: indefinitely.)
Statu quo – The present state of affairs. The existing condition. Things as they are. The current state of being: The winners have maintained the statu quo in the monetary aspect.
Stricto sensu – In a strict sense (the opposite of lato sensu = in a broad sense).
Suae quisque fortunae faber est – Every man is the artisan of his own fortune (Appius Claudius Caecus).
Sui generis – Of its own kind; unique.
Supra – Above
Una voce – With one voice, unanimously.
Unum et idem – One and same thing.
Urbi et orbi – To the city (Rome) and to the globe – a blessing of the pope.
Utile dulci – Useful and pleasant.
Vae soli! – Woe to the lonely man!
Vae victis! –Woe to the conquered (vanquished) (Livy).
Verba volant, scripta manent – (Spoken) words fly away, what is written remains.
Verbi gratia – For example (it is abbreviated v. g.).
Veritas odium parit, obsequium amicos – Frankness makes enemies and flattery, friends.
Via trita, via tuta – A beaten track is a safe track.
Vice versa – In reverse order.

The moral sayings of Publilius Syrus

Ab alio exspectes, alteri quod feceris.
As you treat a neighbour, expect another to treat you.
Attends d'autrui ce qu'à autrui tu auras fait.
Espera receber do outro o que lhe tiveres feito.

Ab amante lacrimis redimas iracundiam.
Tears may buy off a lover's wrath.
Apaise par tes larmes la colère de qui t'aime.
Acalma com tuas lágrimas a cólera de quem te ama.

Absentem laedit, cum ebrio qui litigat.
Wrangling with a drunk man is hurting one who is off the scene.
C'est frapper dans le vide que disputer avec un homme ivre.
Disputar com um ébrio é agredir um ausente.

Ad calamitatem quilibet rumor valet.
To accredit disaster any tale has power.
Pour causer un désastre, le moindre rumeur suffit.
Para causar um desastre o menor rumor basta.

Ad paenitendum properat cito qui iudicat.
Hasty judgment means speedy repentance.
L'on ne tarde pas à se repentir, quand on juge trop vite.
Quem julga com precipitação logo se arrepende.

Ad tristem partem strenua est suspicio.
Suspicion is ever active on the gloomy side.
On est prompt à soupçonner le pire.
Estamos sempre prontos a suspeitar o pior.

Aegre reprendas, quod sinas consuescere.
Reproof comes ill for a habit you countenance.
Il est difficile de blâmer ce dont on laisse prendre l'habitude.
Dificilmente corrigirás o que deixares tornar-se hábito.

Aetas cinaedum celat, aetas indicat.
Time conceals and time reveals the reprobate.
O tempo esconde o devasso, o tempo o revela.
[Astute dum celatur, aetas se indicat.]
[Avec quelque ruse qu'on le dissimule, l'âge se révèle toujours.]
[Ainda que se esconda com artifícios, a idade sempre se revela.]

Affatim aequa cui fortuna est interitum longe effugit.
[Affatim si cui fortuna est, interitum non longe habet.]
Se a sorte está muito favorável a alguém, não está longe sua perda.

Affatim aequa cui fortuna est interitum longe effugit.
The man whose luck is fair enough gives ruin a wide berth.
[Être au comble de la fortune, c'est être près de sa perte.]
Se a sorte está muito favorável a alguém, não está longe sua perda.

Aleator quanto in arte est melior, tanto est nequior.
 The cleaverer the gamester, the greater his knavery.
Dans les jeux de hasard, le plus habile est le plus malhonnête.
Quanto mais hábil é o jogador em sua arete, tanto mais perigoso.

Aliena nobis, nostra plus aliis placent.
We fancy the lot of others; others fancy ours more.
Nous envions le bonheur des autres, les autres envient le nôtre.
Os bens dos outros agradam mais a nós; os nossos agradam mais aos outros.

Alienam qui orat causam, se culpat reum.
The pleader of another's cause arraigns himself.
Plaider la cause d'autrui, c'est prendre une part de sa faute.
Quem defende causa alheia age como acusado.

Alienum aes homini ingenuo acerba est servitus.
For the freeborn, debt is bitter slavery.
Les dettes sont pour un homme libre une amère servitude.
As dívidas, para o homem livre, são uma servidão amarga.

Alienum est omne, quicquid optando evenit.
What comes by wishing is never truly ours.
Nous n'avons en propre rien de ce que nous avons obtenu par des souhaits.
É dos outros tudo que obtivemos pedindo.

Amans iratus multa mentitur sibi.
The lover in anger tells himself many a lie.
Un amant irrité se ment beaucoup à lui-même.
O homem apaixonado, quando está zangado, mente muito para si mesmo.

Amans quid cupiat scit, quid sapiat non vidit.
A lover knows his desire: his wisdom is out of sight.
L'amant ne connaît que son désir, il ne voit pas ce qu'il prend.
Quem ama sabe o que deseja, mas não vê o que sabe.

Amans quod suspicatur, vigilans somniat.
Even when awake, the lover has dreams of his suspicions.
Le soupçon d'un amant est le songe d'un homme éveillé.
Quem ama sonha acordado com o que suspeita.

Amans, ita ut fax, agitando ardescit magis.
A lover is like a torch: blazes the more he's moved.
Un amant, comme une torche qu'on agite, s'enflamme davantage quand on le pourchasse.
O homem enamorado, como a tocha, quanto mais se agita, mais arde.

Amantis ius iurandum poenam non habet.
A lover's oath involves no penalty.
Les serments d'amour ne comportent pas de sanction.
Jura de namorado não merece castigo.

Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur.
Wisdom with love is scarcely granted to a god.
L'amour et la sagesse, c'est à peine chez un dieu qu'on peut les trouver ensemble.
Se tolerares os vícios do teu amigo, tu os adquirirás.

Amare iuveni fructus est, crimen seni.
Love is the young man's enjoyment, the old man's reproach.
L'amour est pour le jeune homme l'usage d'un droit et pour le vieillard un sujet de blâme.
Amar, para o jovem é proveito, para o velho, motivo de reprovação.

Ames parentem, si aequus est: si aliter, feras.
Love your parent, if he is just: if not, bear with him.
Aime ton père, s'il est juste, et s'il ne l'est pas, supporte-le.
Amarás teu pai, se ele for justo; se não for, tu o suportarás.

Amici mores noveris, non oderis.
Study but do not hate a friend's character.
Connais le caractère de ton ami, mais ne le hais pas.
Se tolerares os vícios do teu amigo, tu os adquirirás.

Amici vitia si feras, facias tua.
Tolerate a fried's faults, and you make them your own.
Les défauts de tes amis, si tu les supportais, pourraient devenir les tiens.
Se tolerares os vícios do teu amigo, tu os adquirirás.

Amicis ita prodesto, ne noceas tibi.
Benefit frieds without hurt to yourself.
Sers tes amis sans te nuire à toi-même.
Serve a teus amigos sem te prejudicares.

Amico firmo nihil emi melius potest.
There is nothing better in the market than a staunch friend.
Un ami sûr est la meilleure acquisition qu'on puisse faire.
Não se pode conseguir nada melhor do que um amigo certo.

Amicum an nomen habeas, aperit calamitas.
Misfortune reveals whether you have a fried or only one in name.
A-t-on vraiment un ami, ou n'en possède-t-on que le nom, le malheur seul le révèle.
A infelicidade mostrará se tens um amigo ou só o nome.

Amor animi arbitrio sumitur, non ponitur.
Love starts but is not dropped at will.
Le coeur peut à son gré accueillier l'amour, mais non s'en défaire.
O coração pode a seu bel prazer escolher o amor, mas não se desfazer dele.

Amor extorqueri non pote, elabi pote.
Love can't be wrested from one, but may slip away.
L'amour ne peut être arraché du coeur, il ne peut en sortir que lentement.
O amor não pode ser arrancado à força, mas pode extinguir-se.

Amor otiosae causa est sollicitudinis.
Love causes worry in the leisure hour.
L'amour est un sujet d'inquiétude superflue.
O amor é causa de inquietude inútil.

Amor, ut lacrima, ab oculo oritur, in pectus cadit.
Love, like a tear, rises in the eye and falls on the breast.
Comme les larmes coulent des yeux, de même l'amour coule dans le coeur.
O amor, como a lágrima, nasce nos olhos e corre para o coração.

Amori finem tempus, non animus facit.
'Tis time, not the mind, that puts an end to love.
Le temps, et non la volonté, met fin à l'amour.
O que causa o fim do amor é o tempo, não a vontade.

Amoris vulnus idem sanat, qui facit.
The one who causes also cures the wound of love.
La blessure de l'amour est guérie par celui qui l'a faite.
Chaga de amor, quem a faz, a sara.

Animo dolenti nihil oportet credere.
One must not trust at all a mind in pain.
D'une âme irritée par la douleur, il ne faut rien croire.
Não convém crer em nada que vem de coração que sofre.

Animo imperabit sapiens, stultus serviet.
The sage will rule his feelings, the fool will be their slave.
Le sage commandera à son coeur, le fou en sera l'esclave.
O sábio governará seu coração; o tolo será seu escravo.

Animo imperato ne tibi animus imperet.
Domina tuas paixões, para que elas não te dominem.

Animo imperato ne tibi animus imperet.
Rule your feelings lest your feelings rule you.
Domine tes passions, pour qu'elles ne te dominent pas.

Animo ventrique imperare debet qui frugi esse vult.
He who would bediscreet must rule his mind and appetite.
Il faut commander à ses passions et à son estomac pour être vertueux.

Animo ventrique imperare debet qui frugi esse vult.
Quem quer ser moderado deve dominar seu coração e seu estômago.

Animo virum pudicae, non oculo eligunt.
Modest women choose a man by mind, not eye.
Dans le choix d'un mari, les femmes vertueuses consultent leur raison et non leurs yeux.
Mulheres castas escolhem marido usando a razão, não os olhos.

Animus vereri qui scit, scit tuto ingredi.
Courage that can fear can take the road with safety.
Un esprit qui sait craindre sait aussi entreprendre sans risque.
Espírito que sabe temer, sabe decidir com segurança.

Anus cum ludit, morti delicias facit.
The old woman in skittish mood is Death's darling toy.
Une vieille femme qui joue se joue de la mort.
Mulher velha, quando pratica esporte, faz a morte sorrir.

Aperte mala cum est mulier, tum demum est bona.
A woman is good at last, when she's openly bad.
C'est quand elle est franchement méchante qu'une femme commence à être bonne.
É realmente boa a mulher, quando é má ser artifícios.

Aspicere oportet, quicquid possis perdere.
You ought to watch whatever you can lose.
Il faut avoir les yeux sur ce que l'on pourrait perdre.
É preciso tomar conta de tudo que se pode perder.

Assidua ei sunt tormenta qui se ipsum timet.
He who dreads himself has torment without end.
C'est un tourment sans fin que d'avoir peur de soi-même.
É tormento permanente temer a si mesmo.

Audendo virtus crescit, tardando timor.
Courage grows by daring, fear by delay.
Le courage est accru par l'audace et la peur par l'hésitation.
Ousando, cresce a coragem; hesitando, o medo.

Aut amat aut odit mulier, nihil est tertium.
Woman either loves or hates: there is no third thing.
Aimer ou aïr, voilà la femme: pour elle, point de milieu.
A mulher ama ou odeia, não há terceira opção.

Auxilia humilia firma consensus facit.
United feeling makes strength out of humble aids.
L'aide que se donnent les faibles devient puissante par leur union.
O entendimento torna poderosos os recursos parcos.

Auxilium profligatis contumelia est.
Help wounds the pride of those whose cause is lost.
Le secours après la défait fait l'effet d'un affront.
Ajuda depois da derrota é afronta.

Avaro acerba poena natura est sua.
For the miser his own nature is bitter punishment.
L'avare trouve un cruel châtiment dans sa nature même.
Para o avarento sua natueza já é um castigo cruel.

Avaro non est vita, sed mors, longior.
The miser has no life save death delayed.
Pour l'avare il n'y a pas de vie, mais une mort lente.
Para o avarento não é a vida, mas a morte, que é mais longa.

Avaro quid mali optes nisi "Vivat diu" ?
What ill could you wish a miser save long life?
Quel mal souhaiter à un avare, si ce nést de vivre longtemps?
Que mal desejarás ao avarento, senão que ele viva muito?

Avarum facile capias, ubi non sis item.
The miser may be your easy prey, when you're not a miser too.
Tu prendras facilement un avare, si tu ne l'es pas toi-même.
Dominarás o avarento facilmente, se não fores igual a ele.

Avarus animus nullo satiatur lucro.
No gain satisfies a greedy mind.
Une âme cupide ne se satisfait d'aucun gain.
Coração de avarento não se satisfaz com nenhum ganho.

Avarus damno potius quam sapiens dolet.
It's the miser, not the wise man, whom a loss pains.
L'avare s'afflige d'une perte bien plus que le sage.
O avarento se aflige com o prejuízomais do que o homem ajuizado.

Avarus ipse miseriae causa est suae.
The miser is himself the cause of his misery.
L'avare est lui-même la cause de sa misère.
O avarento é o verdugo de si mesmo.

Avarus nisi cum moritur, nihil recte facit.
The one right thing a miser does is to die.
L'avare, si ce n'est quand il meurt, ne fait rien de bien.
O avarento só faz o bem quando morre.

Avidum esse oportet neminem, minime senem.
None should be greedy, least of all the old.
Personne ne doit être avide, encore moins le vieillard.
Ninguém deve ser ambicioso, muito menos o ancião.

Máriton Silva Lima
Constitutionalist and Philosopher