4 Latin Mottos From Medieval Times That Men Should Honor Today

Nestled comfortably in the center of history sits a thousand-year high point. Often erroneously named the “dark ages,” this millennium was the greatest source of light in the history of Western civilization.  Though miles of library shelves have been filled with medieval writings on the skins of goats and cattle, a small taste of their mottos is enough to demonstrate their wisdom.

1. “Ne gladium tollas, mulier.” (Erasmus, Adagia)

Erasmus of Rotterdam was a Dutch priest and mastermind polymath from the fifteenth century.  In his book of sayings, the Adagia, he coined the phrase “Woman, don’t pick up that sword.”

On its surface, this kind of brazen sexism and patriarchalism would be red pilled enough in itself.  Of course women should not be fighting in tournaments or serving on the front lines of the military.  They should not be cheapening their femininity and emasculating men by putting their lives and nice-looking faces in harm’s way.

The genius part of this quote, though, is that it’s not about women in combat at all.  Obviously, in Erasmus’ day, the armies of medieval kingdoms did not have the problem of pussified, politically correct gender-diversification policies.  There would be no need to oppose “women in combat.”  Rather, what Erasmus is getting at is that you shouldn’t offer assistance if you’ve got nothing to offer.

Don’t ask me if I need a hand with my bags if you’ve never lifted a weight in your life.  Don’t tell me how to vote or how to live if you’re a brain-dead celebrity with four divorces and a drug addiction.  Don’t act like you’re the gatekeeper of conservatism if you’ve been rolling over and playing dead since Bill Clinton was elected.  Woman—just put it down.

2. “Per me reges regnant.” (Charlemagne, Aachen Town Hall)

I’ve walked all over the German town of Aachen, appreciating the grandeur of its soaring towers and deep cultural roots.  It was the seat of Emperor Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor known for uniting Western Christendom under his rule, crushing the Saracens and Moors, and sparking a cultural revival of art and learning known as the Carolingian Renaissance.

Over the front entrance of Aachen’s 1200-year-old town hall is Charlemagne’s motto, an inscription from the Book of Proverbs: “through me kings rule.”

Later dynasties adopted this motto as well.

Vast as Charlemagne’s military and economic power was, he acknowledged first and foremost that his authority to rule came from God.  Unlike the ignorant and opportunistic political philosophers of the so-called enlightenment, who thought that the sovereign ruled solely because the people allowed him to, Charlemagne understood that all rulers are illegitimate unless God delegates His power to them.  No king deserves recognition by his subjects unless he himself recognizes that he is a subject in the kingdom of heaven.

Modernity and its pestilent secularism demands that “separation of Church and State” be defended at all costs.  What they fail to realize is that the two can never be separated, only one subjugated to the other.  In the absence of God’s righteous headship, the State becomes the Church.  This is modern America and most Western nations.  It has led us to a self-destructive place.

I saw a garage door in Aachen with graffiti painted on it, depicting Charlemagne holding his famous globus cruciger (ball and cross), which represents the Church presiding over the State.  Next to it was painted a hand flipping the emperor the bird.  Here was a resident of Charlemagne’s own city, one of the great centers of cultural heritage on earth, so full of spite for their own patrimony that they could only react with mindless hate.

In rejecting history, the Germans have failed to learn all but its most recent lessons.  Merkel’s weak and dissipated Germany will eventually fall, and its cultural treasures will be pillaged.  When that day comes, they will beg the spirit of Charlemagne to return.

3. “Ut superius sic inferius.” (Hermes Trismegistus, Smagdarine Tablet)

This cryptic phrase from the esoteric Smagdarine Tablet (of dubious late antique origins) can be taken in several different ways.  Translated simply, “as above, so below,” it was originally meant to express the parallels between microcosms and the macrocosm in ancient natural sciences.

Just as humans manipulate musical notes, so the planets move according to the “music of the spheres.”  Just as we  have our loftier body parts (heart, brain) higher up on their body, so do the heavens become loftier the higher one travels (to the primum mobile, or first mover).  And so on.  Basically, there is an aesthetic, logical, and moral order to everything, consistent throughout the universe.

Man, the microcosm, posed atop the spheres, the macrocosm.

The phrase has also been adapted for Christian use, given its uncanny similarity to the line in Jesus Christ’s Our Father, “thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  Thus did Christ place human action in the context of the Divine Will, as if to say remind us that the good we do is part of God’s master plan, and our evil is fighting it.  Christian theologians like St. Augustine took the phrase even further, such as when he argued that the threefold human faculties of memory, intellect, and will were a mirror for the Holy Trinity.  As above, so below.

Modern man perceives the world in a much different way.  In fact, the words of the ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras summarize the modern mindset rather well: “Man is the measure of all things.”  Plato and Aristotle both criticized him for this relativism, but it appears as though Protagoras’ spirit lives on.  For modern man, part of taking the red pill, and piercing the modern fog, means acknowledging a higher power that orders and moves the universe.

4. “Ora et labora.” (St. Benedict of Nursia, Regula)

Amid the wreck of the old Roman Empire, a very ordinary figure did something extraordinary: he left.  Benedict was a noble in the Italian city of Nursia who realized that he needed to stop running the aristocratic rat race of struggling for power with all the money-hungry merchants and petty bureaucrats in his city.

He took the ultimate red pill and realized that he could acquire something of far more value if he could just find stillness, so he journeyed far into the countryside to live by a simple set of practices known as his Rule.  He was joined by many others, and soon, Benedictine monasticism was the most widespread cultural movement in history.

Benedict’s famous injunction, “work and pray,” perfectly captures the necessity of stillness.  Those who only work fritter their lives away serving corporate overlords and pencil-pushers while suppressing other deep, human needs.  Together, work and prayer are two halves of a whole: fervent ambition to accomplish and ascend, along with prayerful recognition that this life is not all there is, and what comes after is far more important.

It is interesting that Benedict, who left the world to find peace and stillness, became the founder of a monastic order that built amazing structures, produced brilliant writings, filled positions of leadership and influence, acquired great riches, developed genius technology, and painted beautiful artwork.

Go forth and get medieval

Armed with these and other weapons of wisdom from the middle ages, you are equipped to defend yourself against modern confusion and degeneracy by having an actual worldview that is both coherent and sound.

Remember that you are not a lonely soul wandering in a wasteland; you are a created being in a vast natural order ruled by a deity.  If your mind contains that fact alone, you are already more red-pilled than the vast majority of proles walking today’s world.

Read More: How To Restore Civilization By Following St. Benedict’s Example

65 thoughts on “4 Latin Mottos From Medieval Times That Men Should Honor Today”

  1. How about Plus Ultra, “More Beyond” or “Further Beyond”? Most notably, the personal motto of Spanish king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, arguably one of the most powerful rulers in history.

    1. Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !ae131d:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash411OfficeVoicePay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!ae131l..,…

    2. Pretty Masonic and occult symbolism in those coat of arms. Notice the glaring Phoenix of hermetic origins and alchemy. Also those twin pillars joachim and boaz. Not surprised though.

      1. spare us. the pillars of joachim and boaz are black and white. freemasonry pilfers symbolism because it cannot come up with its own.
        the doubleheaded eagle was originated in byzantium, if not earlier, to symbolize dominance of the spiritual and temporal spheres.

  2. My personal favourite:
    Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre
    Translates to “Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?”

  3. Excellent piece. Really well written. Enjoyed the hell out of it.
    “As above, so below.” Masons fervently embrace that one.
    So we have:
    Woman, don’t pick up that sword.
    Through me kings rule.
    As above, so below.
    Work and pray.
    Sounds like a really sweet recipe for getting the common man to do all the dirty work, while he receives only spiritual rewards (stillness of mind; his true reward comes later, in heaven), and meanwhile, his overlords (royalty, the Masons, et al) reap all the material rewards.
    I am totally behind this philosophy. I fully embrace it and endorse it. Bravo.

  4. Fuck the British rewriting of the middle Ages as the dark Ages.
    This is the foundation of many of the problems the west faces today.

      1. The British put more bibles in more hands than any other people on earth. John Bunyan wrote the second most popular book on earth, Pilgrims Progress.
        The corruption of the best is the worst, as Augustine says. The Englis speaking people’s may be destroying the world, but we also built it.

        1. The printing press was invented by Guttenberg (Holy German Empire). The first translations of the bible to European languages were performed in Europe. If anything the British have spread more poison and lies than anyone in history, unbeatable in propaganda wars, lethal lies that have become the ammunition of our enemies, along with the whole set of irrational notions developed in the “Enlightenment”. If anything the greatest contributions of the Englishmen are the preservation of the notions of freedom as a right inherent to the condition of man developed during the “Dark Ages” (Carta Magna etc.), themselves a product of the Christian thought and European philosophy and; the large array of inventions which helped create our world.

        2. I’m not necessarily disagreeing, America is oddly responsible for communism even, communes in Ohio to Engels to Marx.
          But, so much beauty and good as well. Like Rome.

        3. No, I mean there was a a group in Ohio that had a commune and established meeting houses world wide to spread their message. Engels took Marx to the meeting house they established in London. It’s basically a straight line from American utopian socialists to European communism.

    1. It was renamed the Dark Ages because those who control this world (and therefore the history narrative, book publishing, TV production, Hollywood etc.) want to hide it from us. Why is this? Because the Jewi$h money / credit / social manipulators were expelled from England and some other European countries and these regions quickly became enormously prosperous. Massive buildings (cathedrals, castles) were built, Christian culture thrived and health improved over the course of about 200 years. The average worker in those times had an estimated work week of about 25 hours, could provide for his family and didn’t experience debilitating hunger or poverty. But eventually, the Subverters / Destroyers returned and things quickly returned to shit, with only the beautiful monuments as a reminder of what “simple folk” can accomplish when freed from their yokes.

        1. 🙂 not exactly the answer.
          Ever watched Mr Garrisons fancy new vagina?
          Guess who’s the dolphin there?
          As Christians we know who’s the fish.
          As a German I know who’s the rat.
          I bet Adams knew that too. But he’s nice, so it’s the mice.
          Who helps Arthur Dent?
          Ford Prefect.
          Vogon poetry? Mendelssohn. Ask Wagner.

  5. Nice piece.
    What unites these motto is that when traced to their origins, they are reflections of reality; the lived truths of men who endured the suffering and conflict of human life.
    It is this suffering, the friction that binds us all to this earth, through which natural truths are revealed and the necessity of suffering becomes clear. It is through this revelation that one can then learn to transcend the banal discomforts of suffering to reveal its bounty of gifts.
    The microcosm/macrocosm is an important recurring theme throughout history. One that modernity has abandoned. Even as we continue to chase the ever smaller particles that make up Everything, we cling to the comfortable lies that “we” are somehow above the friction and what it reveals and that we can outlive the truth in favor of occupying some fleeting universe of our own construct.
    The musings of the ancients are parsimonious in phrase – one beauty of Latin, but
    are incisive blades when confronted with the platitudes of hucksters peddling their elixirs of lies. Which is why they remain timeless.
    Truth culled from the ether of a man’s contemplation and hammered upon the anvil of his actions in
    the physical world, can steel a man against the siren songs of those lesser men who desire to harness his goodness in their endeavor to pervert the truth.
    Modernity, in its obsession with optimization (aka avoidance) has strip-mined mountains of ancient
    wisdom for nuggets of naked self-satisfaction and unearned virtue. We see this in the digitized tickertape of modern platitudes, the truth perverted into opiates for the masses to blunt their hunger for meaning and rob them of the gifts of their suffering.
    In our arrogance – or to be generous, our temporal elitism juiced by the
    ever-entangling techno-tools of human “progress”, we move away from the visceral frictions of man and his environment, of life and death, of beauty and ugliness, and of good and evil, to move deeper into the quagmire of relativism and goodfeels.
    While the progressive death cult clamors to redefine “who we are” in the current year in order to square the next circle in their spiral toward destruction, Truth resides where it has from the beginning: in plain view.
    In order to find truth we need not wait until we discover the next particle of our making, to iterate toward some subatomic answer to all we ponder. We can merely recall a fraction of the wisdom that has been forgotten and strike out into the world, eyes wide open.

  6. Beware usage of “as above, so below.” It was adopted by the neopagans following Aleister Crowley’s writings. They proceeded to twist it to a whole circular logic, where their pagan rites below influence the realm above, and that proceeds to work some kind of magic on the world around them. As a consequence, you’ll find it in books on wicca peddled to crazy feminists and idiot kids.
    On its own, the adage has great merit as described. But it’s of value to know who employs that phrase today.

    1. No matter who used that phrase “as above, so below” the source of this is the serpent. Hermes/Thoth, Kabbalah, lesser key of Solomon, satanic bible, etc…all included the duality concept. Notice modern media will always create the false dichotomy of duality: black and white (Kendrick Lamar in Taylor swift video, Peyton manning vs. cam newton), good magic vs bad magic (Jedi vs sith; all magic is bad), right vs left (hitlary vs Donald), etc…

  7. I’m still not sold on this God stuff. People can give passionate sermons and even elevate their own beings and egos into greater heights by insinuating association with a higher being like the writer of this piece but all that grand preaching does not make it real. A few nights ago I was watching the confession, filmed in 1995, of a famous media personality where he recounted his hard life and dangerous mistakes and talked about his faith; it was initially convincing and powerful. Fast forward to today he’s still the same guy who likes obscene jokes but is off the drugs and booze his and it was not faith or the christian religion that fortunately caused him to sober up for good at least a decade after 1995 but the secular help of a friend who cared about him on a personal level.

    1. You kind of express the sentiment behind a saying (attributed to various saints) Preach the gospel always, when necessary use words.
      Hard to take folks seriously about their faith if they don’t live it. And sometimes seeing someone living the faith can be a more powerful influence than them talking to you about it.
      If you’re christian you believe Christ did His work, we continue it be showing our love for Him through our love for others. Perhaps the person assisting the celebrity in improving their life was influenced by God? I was once told while going through a hard time and doing the typical wondering of — why is this happening to me? that I was perhaps being a narcissist. That it wasnt’ happening to me as much as happening so that I could be an example for someone else, or gain the knowledge via experience to help others. It was about them, not me.

      1. This ties back to the recent article on the Amish. What makes the Amish so fascinating to Christians and people as a whole? It is that they have a system of beliefs that they choose to live by every day, and that makes them distinct from their surrounding cultures.

      2. Of course no one lives it, no one can.
        However find me an atheist who never breaks his own principles and I’ll show you a liar or a man with no principles at all.

        1. Hence Christ’s admonition to remove the log from our own eye prior to addressing our neighbor’s splinter. We can’t live it perfectly, but we can do our best, and with awareness of our own faults prior to speaking to others.

    2. Dr Jordan Peterson has some excellent lectures on the bible, considering it an important cultural artifact as it is a compilation of thousands of years of oral tradition.
      The Christian god is unique in that he becomes more of a plot device than a traditional god, which is that of the ideal man. Rather, the christian god moves the plot along and takes a more subtle role in the affairs of the world, becoming the personification of schemas that exists across time and culture.

      1. That is an interesting take, and not entirely inaccurate. The Christian God possesses among his properties that of the origin of laws – natural and cultural. He provides existence a la Aristotle’s God (the “perfect existence” from which conditional existences derive).
        I’ll have to look into these lectures.

        1. I regret the use of “not entirely inaccurate.” It’s become a habit when I’m mulling ideas over, but in this case I think it was perhaps unwarranted.
          Haven’t gotten that far in, yet, but Peterson’s onto something.

        2. The word “schema” is a bit of an esoteric psychological term. Only reason I know it is ’cause I was once majoring in psychology.
          I listen to the Peterson lectures during my 35 minute work commute. They are quite interesting, even though by the third one he hasn’t even gotten to Adam and Eve.

  8. Really happy to see interest in Western tradition, article written by a professor no less.
    Will def read this after work today.

  9. The mottos are fine.
    This is better.
    Ancient graffiti written on the wall in a bar in Pompeii:
    Nihil durare potest tempore perpetuo;
    Cum bene sol nituit, redditur oceano,
    Decrescit Phoebe, quae modo fuit,
    Ventorum feritas saepe fit aura levis.
    “Nothing can last for ever;
    Once the sun has shone, it returns beneath the sea.
    The moon, once full, eventually wanes,
    The violence of the winds often turns into a light breeze.”

    1. Hard to believe even Pompeii had hoodlums tagging on walls. Wonder if legionaires went after them for wearing their togas as hoodies.

  10. ‘In rejecting history, the Germans have failed to learn all but its most recent lessons. ‘
    Yes, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

  11. Anyone out there read anything by Samuel Moyn? “Last Utopia” is a great book explaining how Western Society has succeeded in pissing on this tradition and opting for the poisonous pie in the sky which we are trying to enjoy at this time…

  12. This one’s a bit later than the medieval era, but it’s my favorite:
    Nemo me impune lacessit.

  13. I use the mock Latin phrase “illegitimi non carborundum”, Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

  14. Oderint dum metuant.
    My credo. That or ‘Homnibus omnibus patiendum est’ Although I may be off in that one being grammatically correct.

  15. Latin phrases are the cheese, the clencher, the icing on the cake. Say for instance you’ve just slain the enemy. What do you do then? It was a hard fought battle but you love battle. It is an art. And more battles loom ahead. But what words capture the moment and what insignia should be plastered around the dead bodies? What words of song and warcry would monumentalize the hallowed spot for all the world behold? You can’t just leave the slain enemy there in a pile without your signature and a few immortal words. But what words? You have the thought and spirit in mind but the words are stuck right on the tip of your tongue. But what are the right words to savor and immortalize the moment?
    LOOK TO LATIN!! Back in the day they didn’t have spray paint. They would scratch an epithet into the earth or they would leave a symbol. A true warrior SIGNS his artwork.
    Some suggestions:
    1). “Abyssus abyssum invocat” – Hell calls hell, one mistep leads to another.
    2). “Acta est fabula, plaudite” – The play is over, applaud.
    3). “Omina mors aequat” – Death makes all things equal.
    4). “Solitudinem fecerunt, pacem appelunt” – You made our home into a desert and called it your peace.
    5). “Mors ultima ratio” – Death is the final accounting for you.
    6). “Fortuna vitrea est; tum cum splendet frangitur” – Your fortune was reaped of our toil. Just when it gleamed for you, it was shattered.

  16. Gonna give Quintus a plug here. If anyone is interested in Latin translations and Roman wisdom, I recommend his recent translations of Sallust and Cicero. He sent me a review copy of Sallust and what I took away from it was Sallust’s lament at the breakdown of the republic through excessive luxury and greed, which also gave rise to what might be history’s first true populist movement.
    And perhaps more importantly “glory based on appearances is transitory and brittle, but masculine virtue is pure and eternal.” http://masculineepic.com/index.php/2017/06/22/the-conspiracy-of-catiline-and-the-war-of-jugurtha-review/

  17. Here’s a good one. A very common inscription on medieval tombstones was intended not for the glory or ego of the buried deceased, but for the edification of the living person (possibly just a stranger) reading the inscription. It was intended to get the reader to contemplate his own mortality.
    I won’t bother looking up the Latin phrase I’m referring to, but it translates into English as: “As you are, so I once was. As I am, so you shall be.”

  18. yeah. if only Merkel declared that her authority to rule came directly from God! Germany would be in much better shape.

  19. “Hermes tristmagistus is Thoth bruuuh!
    He was an Egyptian full of knowledge. Looked like Chadwick bosman from that Gods of Egypt movie bluhhh! Cuz We Wuz Kangz n shiettt!”

Comments are closed.