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

(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.

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.
We enter the circle after dark and are consumed by fire.

A Latin palindrome that describes the movement of moths.

In hac spe vivo.
In this hope, I live.
in limine; in lim.
At or on the outset.

Used to describe something that is about to happen or is beginning to happen.

In loco parentis. (Latin legal term)
Translation: "In the place of a parent."

Having the responsibilities or role of a parent, e.g. teachers during the time students are under their charge are in the legal position of a guardian. Anyone who serves in loco parentis may be considered to have responsibilities of guardianship, either formal or informal, over minors.

In lumine tuo videbimus lumen. (Latin motto)
Translation: "In Thy light we shall see the light."

Also translated as, "In Thy light shall we see light." Motto of Columbia University, New York City, USA; the College of Great Falls; Great Falls, Montana; and Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

In medias res.
"Into the middle of things." Extended to mean: "Into the thick of it."

The way a story or play might begin, as when a story begins in the middle and then flashes back to the cause of a character's trouble or perdicament. The writer may begin the play, story, poem, or novel by jumping into an ongoing stream of action which is considered a powerful writing technique in any language.

The benefits of beginning a story, play, or poem in medias res, or "into the thick of it", are not limited to the opening pages. The same technique can be applied to each new "beginnings" in chapters of a novel, acts in a play, or stanzas in a poem.

The in medias res technique does not work for every story, novel, play, script, or poem. Certain works may simply require a more methodical approach; however, the in medias res can create a hook that grabs the readers' attention from the very beginning.

in nullius bonis
Among the goods or property of no person.

Belonging to no person; such as, a treasure-trove and wreck were anciently considered.

In omnia paratus.
Prepared for all things.

Ready for any eventuality; ready for anything.

In pace, ut sapiens, aptarit idonea bello.
In peace, like a wise man, he appropriately prepares for war.

This advice came from Horace in his Satires, used by modern advocates of a strong war machine as the best strategy for centuries and has yet to produce a lasting peace.

in pectore
In secret.

Anything done in pectore is done literally "in the breast"; such as, the designation of a cardinal by a pope without public announcement. The designation is said to be in pectore.

When the pope names new cardinals, sometimes he will announce that one or more are named in pectore; that is, "secretly". The name, or names, are not announced publicly and only the pope knows the name and even the new cardinal is aware that he has been chosen. Usually, it is not recorded anywhere.

During times of political hostilities, popes used in pectore

As anti-Catholic hostility among various governments became common, in pectore appointments became more common during the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Pope Pius VII created eleven cardinals in pectore; despite the anti-Church hostility of the French Revolution, all of them were eventually published, as were Pope Leo XII's three in pectore appointments.

The outbreak of major revolutions in Europe during the late 1820s caused the proportion of in pectore appointments to all cardinal appointments to rise dramatically: Pope Pius VIII created thirteen cardinals, but only five of them were ever published, while Pope Gregory XVI created as many as twenty-eight cardinals out of a total of eighty in pectore; of which five were unpublished.

Also, creati et reservati in pectore is a term which means, "create cardinals without declaring their names"; that is, "in the chest".

—Based on information from
The Catholic Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc.; 1922.
"Catholic World News":
in perpetuum
Forever, in perpetuity.

Often seen on tombstones. Also presented as in perpetuo.

in pleno
In full.

Payment in pleno is payment in full.

in praesenti
At present.

In praesenti means now rather than in futuro, or in the future.

In sapientia modus.
In wisdom a means [method].

Motto of The University of New England, Australia.

In silvam ne ligna feras.
Don't carry logs into the forest. -Horace

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