I am not led, I lead.
Life In Latin | Latin Language | Latin quotes, Latin phrases, Latin quote tattoos
The gladiator is formulating his plan in the arena. This one comes to us from the philosopher, statesman and dramatist Seneca the Younger. Water of life. Most of the phrases listed here have at least some kind of connection to war, combat and struggle, but this one is a little different. Thus always to tyrants. These days, this phrase is mostly known as what John Wilkes Booth may or may not have shouted out while assassinating President Abraham Lincoln.
Prior to its debated use by Booth, the phrase was placed on the official seal of the commonwealth of Virginia, which also featured a female warrior, representing virtue, standing upon a defeated king, representing tyranny. The phrase is all about how tyrants tend to meet brutal ends, which explains why the phrase is so closely connected with a much earlier assassination: That of Julius Caesar.
The stars incline us, they do not bind us.
The phrase means that while fate — whether determined by the stars, the gods or something else entirely — might nudge us in a certain direction, we are never forced in it, that free will exists and the decision of what to do in any circumstance is ultimately our own. Either with shield or on shield.
This is actually a Latin version of an earlier Greek phrase.
“Alea jacta est”: The die is cast
In Sparta, mothers were said to tell their war-bred children to either come back carrying their shield or on it. Through fire, nature is reborn whole. Later, as part of alchemical and occult studies, this Latin backronym was created, which refers to the cleansing power of fire and the ever-repeating cycle of death and life. If I can not bend the will of Heaven, I shall move Hell. Let them hate so long as they fear.
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