Latin and Constitutional Law

In Brazil, Latin is a dead language, but every authority, speaker, journalist, lawyer, proxy, prosecutor, defense attorney and judge quotes Latin phrases and expressions all the time as a demonstration of erudition and culture.

As Latin is not included in school curricula, people use Latin terms without being sure of them and even with grammatical mistakes.

1) The objective of this site is to teach Latin, clearing up doubts, translating texts, providing norms for translation, as well as teaching the five declensions, the adjectives, the cardinal and ordinal numbers, the pronominal forms, the possessive, demonstrative, relative, interrogative and indefinite pronouns, and conjugating active, irregular, deponent, semi- deponent, defective and impersonal verbs.

The purpose of learning Latin is to sharpen one's intellect, to develop a spirit of analysis, to become accustomed to serenity and reflection, to become more observant, to improve one's power of concentration and to oblige oneself to pay attention.

When translating into Latin the phrases: "The man whom (quem) I saw died, the man who (qui) saw me died, the female pupils whom (quas) I rewarded study hard, I know soldiers whose (quorum) courage astonishes me", one is obliged to think of the accusative (quem and quas), nominative (qui) and genitive (quorum) cases. This is where the benefit of studying this language lies: the development of the concentration of the spirit, attention and reasoning. To learn Latin is to learn how to think.

2) ) What is etymology? What are the origins of the words: abjure, admire, ambient, benevolent, bigamous, biscuit, emancipate, expatriate, extrajudicial, enemy, injustice, interpose, perjury, post-puerperal, preamble, seduce, subjugate, superfluous, transfer, translate, transatlantic, ultramarine and ultra-romantic?

3) How should one use Latin proverbs and certain adverbial phrases, such as: a fortiori, a posteriori, a priori, ad hoc, ad libitum, ad nutum, ad perpetuam rei memoriam, cum grano salis, data venia, dormientibus ossa, ex abrupto, ex officio, exempli gratia, in limine, lato sensu, mors omnia solvit, mutatis mutandis, pari passu, quantum satis, sine die, statu quo, stricto sensu, sui generis, verbi gratia?

4) Which phrases are correct: Inaudita altera pars or Inaudita altera parte? Pro rata parte, pro rata temporis, pro rata tempore or pro rato tempore?

5) What is the translation of the sentences that are so often quoted in speeches in parliament: Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra (Cicero), Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres (Caesar), Arma virumque cano, Trojae qui primus ab oris (Vergil) ?

6) In penal law, what does the expression lex consumens derogat legi consumptae mean ?

7) In civil law, what does nemo auditur propriam turpitudinem allegans mean ?

8) In procedural law, how would you translate tantum devolutum quantum appellatum ?

9) Have you heard Phaedrus' fables: The Wolf and the Lamb (Facile est opprimere innocentem), The Fox and the Grape (Spernit superbus quae nequit assequi), The Dog taking a piece of meat across the river (Avidum sua saepe deludit aviditas), The Wolf and the Crane (Malos tueri haud tutum) and The Deer at the fountain (Utilissimum saepe quod contemnitur) ?

10) Another aim of this site is to disseminate the history of Latin literature, its poets, prose-writers, grammarians, rhetoricians, orators, historians, philosophers and jurists, because the Romans were a people that cultivated literature and the arts. Thus, we shall be able to resolve any doubt about the historical chronology of Latin literature, both in the periods before the Christian era and in the first six centuries AD:

a) First Period - from the earliest times to the age of Livius Andronicus (up to 240 BC):

a.1) Annales maximi or Annales Pontificum;
a.2) Commentarii magistratuum or libri lintei;
a.3) Privata monumenta or laudationes;
a.4) Treaties signed with Carthage, with Porsena, king of the Etruscans, and with the city of Ardea etc.;
a.5) Leges regiae or jus papirianum;
a.6) Lex duodecim Tabularum;
a.7) Legis actiones or jus flavianum;
a.8) Appius Claudius Caecus, Cnaeus Flavius;

b) Second Period - sixth century after the foundation of Rome (240 - 150 BC):

b.1) Livius Andronicus, Cnaeus Nevius, Titus Maccius Plautus, Quintus Ennius, M. Pacuvius, Caecilius Statius, Publius Terentius, Titinius, Turpilius, L. Latius, Quintus Fabius Pictor, L. Cincius Alimentus, Marcius Portius Cato, Allobrogicus Fabius Maximus, Quintus Caecilius Metellus, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Sextus Aelius Paetus Catus, C. Acilius, Aulus Posthumius Albinus, Publius Scipio Nasica, Sp. Carvilius;

c) Third Period - seventh century after the foundation of Rome (150 - 80 BC):

c.1) Q. Quintius Atta, L. Afranius, C. Lucilius, Portius Licinius, Q. Lutatius Catulus, L. Pomponius, Naevius, Ostius, Laevius, Sergius Sulpicius Galba, M. Lepidus, Q. Metellus Macedonicus, Gaius Gracchus, Cassius Hemina, L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, Q. Fabius Maximus Servilianus, Marcus Junius Brutus, P. Mucius Scaevola, Quintus C. P. Licinius Crassus, C. Fannius, L. Caelius Antipater, P. Sempronius Asellius, C. Sempronius Tuditanus, Octavius Lampadion, Publius Rutilius Rufus, Aelius P. Stilo, C. Laelius, Marcus Antonius, L. Licinius Crassus, Q. Claudius Quadrigarius, Valerius Antias, Cornelius Sisenna, C. Licinius Macer, Lucius Cornelius Sylla, L. Licinius Lucullus, Q. Cornificius;

d) Fourth Period - the age of Cicero and Augustus (80 BC - 14 AD):

d.1) From the dictatorship of Sulla to the consulship of Cicero (80 - 63 BC):

d.2) M. Terentius Varro Reatinus, Q. Hortensius Hortalus, Titus Pomponius Atticus, Serv. Sulpicius Rufus, A. Ofilius, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Q. Tullius Cicero, M. Tullius Tiro, Decimus Liberius, C. Mellissus, Publilius Syrus, M. Furius Bibaculus;

d.3) From the consulship of Cicero up to his death (63-43 BC):

d.4) Caius Julius Caesar, Cornelius Nepos, P. Nigidius Figulus, Valerius Cato, T. Lucretius Caro, Gaius Sallustius Crispus, Q. Helius Tubero, P. Terentius Varro Atacinus, Marcus Junius Brutus, C. Helvius Cinna, C. Licinius Calvus, Valerius Catullus;

d.5) From the death of Cicero up to the death of Augustus (43 BC - 14 AD):

d.6) Caius Octavius Augustus, C. Cilnius Maecenas, M. Vipsanius Agrippa, Asinius Pollio, Asinius Gallus, M. Valerius Messala Corvinus, L. Varius Rufus, Aemilius Macer, Rabirius, Publius Vergilius Maro, Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Domitius Marcus, Albius Tibullus, Sextus Propertius, Publius Ovidius Naso, Ponticus, Pompeius Macro, Cornelius Severus, Julius Antonius, Pedo Albinovanus, Gratius Faliscus, Marcus Manilius, Titus Livius, Pompeius Trogus, Fenestella, M. Verrius Flaccus, Pompeius Festus, Sanctra, Gavius Bassus, Sinnius Capito, Julius Hyginus, Vitrivius Pollio, C. Aelius Gallus, M. Antistius Labeo, C. Ateius Capito, Masurius Sabinus, Cassius Longinus, T. Labienus, Cassius Severus, Publius Rutilius Lupus, M. Annaeus Seneca;

e) ) Fifth Period (Imperial) - From the death of Augustus up to the death of Justinian (14 - 565 AD);

f) First century of the Christian era - From the death of Augustus up to the rise of Nerva (14 - 96 AD):

f.1) Tiberius, Germanicus, A. Cremutius Cordus, Aufidius Bassus, M. Velleius Paterculus, Valerius Maximus, A. Cornelius Celsus, Julius Phaedrus, Claudius, Nero, Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Q. Curtius Rufus, L. Junius Moderatus Columella, Q. Asconius Pedianus, Q. Remmius Palaemon, Pomponius Mella, M. Valerius Probus, Aulus Persius Flaccus, M. Annaeus Lucanus, Caesius Bassus, Caius Petronius Arbiter, T. Calpurnius Siculus, Lucilius Junior, Caius Plinius Secundus, Caius Valerius Flaccus, Pomponius Secundus, Curiatius Maternus, Faustus, C. Silius Italicus, P. Papinius Statius, M. Valerius Martialis, L. Arruntius Stella, M .Fabius Quinctilianus, Domitius Afer, Julius Secundus, S. Julius Frontinus, Aemilius Asper, Scribonius Largus;

g) Second century of the Christian era - From the rise of Nerva up to Caracalla (96 - 211 AD):

g.1) Dec. Junius Juvenalis, Cornelius Tacitus, C. Caecilius Plinius Secundus, P. Annius Florus, Flavius Caprius, Velius Longus, Anianus, C. Suetonius Tranquillus, Julius Florus, Salvius Julianus, Sextus Pomponius, Q. Terentius Scaurus, Calpurnius Flaccus, Caelius Aurelianus, M. Cornelius Fronto, Lucius Ampelius, C. Granius Licinianus, C. Sulpicius Apollinaris, Aulus Gellius, Volusius Marcianus, Terentius Clemens, Ulpius Marcellus, M. Aurelius, Lucius Apuleius, Lucius de Patras, Septimius Severus, Clodius Albinus, Aemilius Papinianus, M. Minucius Felix, Caecilius Natalis, Octavius Januarius, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, Helenius Acro, Pomponius Porphyrius, Dositheus;

h) Third century of the Christian era - From the rise of Caracalla up to the abdication of Diocletian (211 -305 AD):

h.1) Herenius Modestinus, Domitius Ulpianus, Julius Paulus, Censorinus, Atilius Fortunatianus, Marius Maximus, Spartianus, Volcatius, Galicanus, Trebellius, Pollio, Flavius Vopiscus, Aelius Lampridius, Julius Capitolinus, Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus, Novatianus, Q. Serenus Samonicus, M. Antonius Gordianus, Commodianus, M. Aurelius Olympius Nemesianus, Vespa, Aquila Romanus, Marius Plotius Sacerdos, Juba a Mauritania, C. Julius Solinus, Gargilus Martialis, Terentianus Maurus, Arnobius, Lactantius Firmianus, Drepanius Pacatus;

i) Fourth century of the Christian era - From the abdication of Diocletian up to the definitive separation of the Empire (305 - 395 AD):

i.1) Sulpicius Victor, C. Julius Victor, Hermmogianus, Firmicus Maternus, Caius Marius Victorinus, M. Fabius Victorinus, Aelius Donatus, Diomedes, Palladius Rutilius, Sextus Aurelius Victor, Flavius Eutropius, Sextus Rufus, Julius Obsequens, Claudius Mamertinus, Rufus Festus Avienus, Decimus Magnus Ausonius, C. Vettius Aquilinus Juvencus, Q. Aurelius Symmachus, Ammianus Marcellinus, Servius Maurus Honoratus, Tib. Claudius Donatus, Flavius Vegetius Renatus, Publius Vegetius, Marcellus Empiricus, Claudius Claudianus, Avianus, Marcianus Minucius Felix Capella, Ambrosius Aurelius Theodosius Macrobius, S. Ambrosius, S. Eusebius Hieronymus, Toranius Rufinus, Aurelius Prudentius Clemens, S. Pontius Meropius Paulinus, S. Aurelius Augustinus, Sulpicius Severus;

j) Fifth century of the Christian era - From the definitive separation of the Empire up to the fall of the Western Empire (395 - 476 AD):

j.1) Rutilius Numatianus, M. Claudius Victor, Sedulius, Paulus Ossorius, Prosperus a Aquitania, Leo I Summus Pontifex, C. Sollius Sidonius Apollinaris, Fabius P. Fulgentius, Fulgentius;

l) Sixth century of the Christian era - From the fall of the Western Empire up to the death of Justinian (476 - 565 AD):

l.1) Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boetius, Magnus Felix Ennodius, Priscianus, Magnus Aurelius Flavius Cassiodorius, Georgius Florentinus Gregorius, Gildas, Venantius Honorius Clemens Fortunatus, Gregorius I Summus Pontifex, Isidorus a Sevilla, Tribonianus;

These and many other doubts may be resolved through this cultural site.

Máriton Silva Lima
Constitutionalist and Philosopher