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Ideas for Engraved Rings. Part 1: Latin Quotes for Wedding Rings and Purity Rings

in Engraved Rings and Wedding Bands, The meaning and history of all things engraved and pers, Uncategorized, Wedding bands

Here I have a few ideas that might provide inspiration for creating customized engravings on a promise ring, a wedding ring or a purity ring. The first set I am publishing contains Latin quotes. What needs to be said at this point is that looking for Latin quotations on the internet can be a very dangerous thing. There is a lot of bad Latin out there, so to speak. Some translations are dubious to begin with, but after being copied multiple times, they become detached from their context. Eventually people who have no business dealing with Latin compile them and post them for everybody’s pleasure. To give you a vivid example a must quote a page entitled “Latin Love Quotes: Latin Proverbs on Love and Relationships”:

Each quotation offers words of wisdom in English followed by its Latin translation. Latin is the root of the romance languages and it shows. When people think of a Latin lover, they think of a red-hot lover.

The person who wrote this clearly has no idea what she was talking about. The term “romance” in its colloquial sense has very little to do with Romance languages. This usage stems from a literary term describing love stories that were popularized by medieval authors who wrote in a vernacular sometimes referred to as “Romance” (as in romanice scribere ). Similarly, Latin lovers have nothing to do with the language of Ancient Rome. But all this could be forgiven if the quotes cited were actually correct. But they are not! The original text of the famous quote from Virgil Love conquers all is given as Amor tussisque non celantur, actually meaning Love and cough are not concealed. I can only pity someone who used this phrase for their wedding rings or a tattoo! You have to always verify the quotation you are using for an engraving, using a few independent sources. Obviously, I have checked the phrases below the best I could.

  • Ab hinc From now on
  • Amor est vitae essentiaLove is the essence of life. (Robert B. Mackay)
  • Amoris vulnus idem sanat, qui facitThe same person who causes the wound of love, heals it. (Publilius Syrus)
  • Bona fortuna Good luck.
  • Da mihi basia mille – Kiss me with a thousand kisses
  • De die in diem – From day to day.
  • De novo Anew.
  • Deo adjuvante – With God’s help.
  • Deo favente – With God’s favor.
  • Domine, dirige nos – Lord, direct us
  • Dominus illuminatio mea – The Lord is my light
  • Dominus providebit – The Lord will provide
  • Dulcius ex asperis – Through difficulty, more sweet.
  • Esto perpetuo May it last forever.
  • Ex amore vitaFrom love, life
  • Finis amoris ut duo unum fiantIt is the goal of love that two shall become one.
  • In aeternumForever.
  • In omnia parati Prepared for everything (plural) .
  • Junctis viribus By united efforts.
  • Laus Deo Praise be to God.
  • Manus in manu Hand in hand.
  • Mirabile visu Wonderful to behold.
  • Ne cede malis Yield not to evils.
  • Nec mortem effugere quisquam nec amorem potestNo one is able to flee from death or love (Publilius Syrus)
  • Non est ei similis There is no one like him (her).
  • Oculi amorem incipiunt, consuetudo perficit. The eyes initiate love, habit completes it. (Publilius Syrus)
  • Omnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amoriLove conquers all things; let us too surrender to love . (Virgil). The word order is sometimes changed to “Vincit omnia amor” and “Amor vincit omnia”.
  • Pactum servaPreserve the faith (the contract).
  • Pignus amoris– A token of love.
  • Puris omnia pura To the pure all things are pure.
  • Quod Deus iunxit homo non separetWhat God has joined together, let man not separate.
  • Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebitTrue love will hold on to those whom it has held. (Seneca)
  • Si vis amari, amaIf you wish to be loved, love . (Seneca)
  • Sine cura Without a care.
  • Spero melior I hope for better things.
  • Tamquam alter idem As if a second self. ( Cicero about a true friend)
  • Ubi amor, ibi oculusWhere there is desire, there is the eye
  • Ubi concordia, ibi victoria Where is the unity, there is the victory. ( Publilius Syrus )
  • Ut ameris, ama!To be loved, love! (Martial)
  • Velle est posse To be willing is to be able.

It must be noted that in ancient Rome there was no distinction between “U” and “V”, there was also no special letter for “J” (“I” was used). The distinction between lower-case and upper-case letters is also a relatively recent innovation. Consequently, it is customary to only use upper-case letters in modern Latin inscriptions and engravings, replacing u’s with V’s, and j’s with I’s. So, if you plan to order engraved rings with the inscription “Junctis viribus” it will look best like this: IVNCTIS VIRIBVS. However, these conventions have become more relaxed in modern times. You can choose the style of lettering based on the design of the wedding rings that you want to engrave. I may be able to provide an advice in some more complicated cases.


See Also: Engraved Dedications for your Friends and Family. In Latin!