Latin Proverbs, Mottoes, Phrases, and Words: Group A

(classical-language maxims, slogans, adages, proverbs, and words of wisdom that can still capture our modern imagination)

Expressions of general truths: Latin to English maxims, proverbs, and mottoes

Word entries are from Latin unless otherwise indicated.

Animo et fide. (Latin motto)
Translation: "Through soul and faith."

Motto of Pensacola Jr. College, Pensacola, Florida, USA.

anno Domini, A.D.
In the year of the Lord [Jesus Christ].

Some people translate anno Domini as "in the year of our Lord", but there is no Latin noster, "our", in the phrase. A.D. is written before the year, usually with small capital letters, with no separating comma, as: A.D. 1995; or informally, after the year, as: about 1450 A.D. Anno Domini is supposed to indicate the number of years from the birth of Chirst.

In the sixth century, Dionysius Exiguus initiated the system of expressing dates by referring events to the birth of Christ. According to his calculations, Christ was born in 754 A.U.C. (abbreviation, ab urbe condita; from [since] the founding of the city [Rome], c. 753 B.C.); however, it is generally agreed that Christ was born at least four years before the date that was set by Dionysius.

anno Hebraico, A.H.
In the Hebrew year.

This is calculated by adding 3,760 to the current year of the Christian era.

anno Hegirae; A.H.
In the year of the Hegira.

Year of the Moslem calendar, dating from the flight of Mohammed from Mecca in 622 A.D. to Medina.

Anno humanae salutis; A.H.S.
In the year of man's redemption.

Equivalent to anno Domini.

Anno lucis.
In the year of light, computed by adding 4 000 years to A.D. [anno Domini].

Used by Freemasonary.

anno mundi (s) (noun) (no plural)
In the year of the world: Anno mundi is a term for reckoning the passage of time from a fixed event.

Anno mundi, abbreviated A.M., marks the number of years that have passed since the world began. In the Hebrew tradition, the year of creation corresponds to 3761 B.C.

The Irish theologian, Ussher, in the mid-seventeenth century computed the date of creation as 4004 B.C.; therefore, the year A.D. 2000 corresponds to 5761 A.M. or 6004 A.M., depending on whose date of creation one might prefer.

Anno post Romam conditam; A.P.R.C.
In the year after the founding of Rome.

The traditional date for the founding of Rome is 753 B.C. Equivalent to A.U.C.

anno urbis conditae; A.U.C., Ab urbe condita
From the founding of the city [Rome].

The traditional date for the founding of Rome is 753 B.C.

Annuit coeptis.
He [God] has favored our undertakings.

This motto, adapted from Vergil's Aeneid, IX, 625, in which Ascanius prays to Jupiter for help in slaying an enemy, appears on the Great Seal of the United States. The words at the bottom of the seal, Novus ordo seclorum mean, "The new order of the ages."

annus mirabilis (s); anni mirabiles (pl)
Year of wonders; a remarkable year.

Great achievements or disasters, or the like; the London fire of 1666 and the plague in the same year are examples of such a year. This phrase is also used to indicate a year in which figures of great importance were born, especially when that year produced important people in great numbers.

Pronunciations for annus mirabilis are AN nuhs mee RAHB buh luhs and AN nuhs mi RAHB buh liss.

It appears that there are many who do not understand the meaning of annus mirabilis in the context of "an extraordinary year" or a "remarkable year" which covers disasters; as well as, positive happenings. If this is true, then do we need annus horribilis for greater clarification?

It was, in another context, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland who got it right: 1992 was supposed to be the European Community's annum mirabilis brought about by the Maastricht treaty and ending in the single market. Instead, it has been an annus horribilis (a dreadful, or horrible, year) with one faux pas after another, and with the cause of European unity looking like an increasingly elusive grail as the year progressed.

The plural form is anni horribiles, "dreadful years", or "horrible years".

ante bellum, antebellum
Before the war.

Specifically, in the United States, before the "Civil War" or before "The War between the States".

ante Christum natum; A.Ch.N.
Before Christ's birth.
ante Christum; A.C.
Before Christ.
ante cibos (plural of ante cibum)
Before meals and is usually abbreviated as a.c. in prescriptions, etc.

Pointing to a page about a kleptomaniac Units of mottoes and proverbs listed by groups: A to X.