12 thoughts on “Quod illi principi …

  1. Saul July 28, 2008 / 11:34 am

    Hmm, surely it can’t be that noone can translate this “great ancient truth”.

    I did have a book of Latin tags and phrases somewhere, which was very useful for this sort of problem:

    I’m not sure that it had longer passages in it however. Also, someone’s stolen it from me.


    • donhamrick January 8, 2022 / 6:59 pm

      It is on the title page of The Law of Nations; Or Principles of the Law of Nature, Applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Soverieigns, from the French of Monsieu De Vattel.

      “Nihil est enim illi principi deo, qui omnem hunc mundum regit, quod quidem in terris fiat, acceptius, quam concilia cetusque hominum iure sociati, quae civitates appellantur.”—Cicerone SOMN. Scipion. Reg. Ed. t. IV. 422.”

      Sixth American Edition, From A New Edition, by Joseph Chitty, Esq., Barriste at Law, Philadelphia: T & J. W. Johnson, Law Booksellers to Nicklin & Johnson, No, 5, Minor Street. 1844.


      • Robert Impey January 8, 2022 / 8:26 pm

        Thanks, Dom.


    • donhamrick January 8, 2022 / 7:32 pm

      I uploaded the PDF version of THE LAW OF NATIONS (1844 version) (567 pages) to my blog. You can download it here:

      Click to access law-of-natons.pdf

      The following is the Causa Causae Est Causa Causati (BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY, 11th ed., (2019), p.272, Latin Legal Maxim, meaning, “The cause of a cause is the cause of the thing caused,” (16c) Torts. This explains The Cause and Effect of the United States becoming the Globally Ranked Number 1 Country having the most people in prison, with a likely significant percentage being innocent political prisoners and inmates from corrupt prosecutors chasing the holy grail of high conviction rates for the next election turning BLACKSTONE’S RATIO upside down.** Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616 at 635 (1886) “It is the duty of courts to be watchful for the constitutional rights of the citizen, and against any stealthy encroachments thereon. Their motto should be obsta principiis. We have no doubt that the legislative body is actuated by the same motives, but the vast accumulation of public business brought before it sometimes prevents it, on a first presentation, from noticing objections which become developed by time and the practical application of the objectionable law.” Qui non obstat quod obstare potest facere videtur. = “He who does not prevent what he is able to prevent, is considered as committing the thing.” BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY, 11th ed., (2019) Appendix A: LEGAL MAXIM, #2330, p. 2004.

      ** BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY, 11th ed., (2019) p.1296. [Latin] (16c) “Withstand beginnings; resist the first approaches or encroachments.

      EXCERPT from my appeal to SCOTUS where I have Appendix 1 as my Article V proposal for an entirely new Constitution (Appeal & new Constitution are both a work in progress while I do deep dive research to produce an ass kicking appeal proving the state & federal courts, including SCOTUS are kangaroo courts.


    • donhamrick January 8, 2022 / 7:44 pm



      § 30. The constitution and laws of a state are the basis of the public tranquillity, the firmest support of political authority, and a security for the liberty of the citizens. But this constitution is a vain phantom, and the best laws are useless, if they be not religiously observed; the nation ought then to watch very attentively, *in order to render them equally respected by those who govern, and by the people destined to obey. To attack the constitution of the state, and to violate its laws, is a capital crime against society; and if those guilty of it be invested with authority, they add to this crime a perfidious abuse of the power with which they are intrusted. The nation ought constantly to repress them with its utmost vigour and vigilance, as the importance of the case requires.

      It is very uncommon to see the laws and constitution of a state openly and boldly opposed: it is against silent and gradual attacks that a nation ought to be particularly on its guard. Sudden revolutions strike the imaginations of men: they are detailed in history; their secret springs are developed. But we overlook the changes that insensibly happen by a long train of steps that are but slightly marked. It would be rendering nations an important service, to show from history how many states have thus entirely changed their nature, and lost their original constitution. This would awaken the attention of mankind:—impressed thenceforward with this excellent maxim (no less essential in politics than in morals) principiis obsta,—they would no longer shut their eyes against innovations, Which, though inconsiderable in themselves, may serve as steps to mount to higher and more pernicious enterprizes.


  2. Robert Impey July 28, 2008 / 3:12 pm

    Such a source of information is kind of what I would like to build. At least the database structure for such a repository. The idea for Haddock CMS is that it should be easy enough to make a site like that very quickly.

    Part of me thinks that blogs and wikis and forums are good enough for this sort of thing and the hard part is getting the people. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time. Build a community using “traditional” internet tools.

    Then part of me thinks that such thinking is akin to the thinking behind the maxim “when you’ve got a hammer in your hand, screws tend to look like nails.”


  3. luka June 30, 2009 / 1:26 pm

    It comes from Cicero, and it means something like: “There is nothing that pleases the principle and allmighty God who oversees this world than those lawful associations of men that are called states.”


  4. Jon July 18, 2009 / 3:30 pm

    Many compliments Luka. Burke uses these long Latin passages that are virtually untraceable on Google. So thanks – you have decoded him.


  5. Robert Impey July 18, 2009 / 3:58 pm

    The problem that I found with Google when I was searching for this quotation was that it returned nothing but sites that hosted a copy of the whole of “Reflections…”.


  6. Ingrid August 24, 2015 / 6:30 pm

    “To the great and all-powerful God who rules this entire universe, nothing is more pleasing than the unions and gatherings of men bound together by laws that are called states”. From Cicero, Dream of Scipio III 5 [13].

    That is what the quote means in English, and the translation was found in Blackwell, Romanticism: An Anthology, 4th edition, p.16.


  7. Anne January 4, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    Thank you very much Ingrid !


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