Lost in translation

Asked October 24, 2019, 12:33 PM EDT

The Massachusetts state motto comes from an excerpt of something that was written c. 1660 by English soldier-statesman Algernon Sidney, who was an opponent of Charles II and who was later executed for treason.

The intent was to say "This hand, an enemy to tyrants, seeks with the sword a quiet peace under liberty." but the actual latin phrase he authored, "manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" doesn't seem to translate well back to English.

Is there a more accurate Latin translation?

Massachusetts miscellaneous

1 Response

Thank you for your question. It was submitted to the Colorado Extension system, but is not a topic covered by the Extension system, which is primarily I suggest you contact the American Classical League for their input: https://www.aclclassics.org/

Good luck!