Acta Virum Probant

JonMr

New Member
Hello to everyone.

Please could you kindly find a little time to answer me?

I would like to know if the phrase "Acta Virum Probant" finds its roots in Rome, or is a modern phrase? I can only find 17th Century subjetcs for the oldest, using this phrase.

Would it be possible to source it much earlier?

Thank you!

Best Regards,
 

Victus

Member
I would like to know if the phrase "Acta Virum Probant" finds its roots in Rome, or is a modern phrase? I can only find 17th Century subjetcs for the oldest, using this phrase.

Honestly, from what I know of medieval and classic literature, I'd say it is a more modern invention. In roman culture, they valued birth over actions, vide the Senate's hatred of the Equestrii class. It was expected of those of noble birth to be outstanding, while it was expected of those of less noble birth to be subservient. After the Roman Empire, during medieval times, stories were told of the heroes of old, who were all noble landowners who fought dragons et caetera. They were all of noble birth. It wasn't really until the protestants and the calvinism's policy of "Merchants are awesome" that actions became valuable to cultures over noble birth.

So, as far as I know, it really wasn't that much of an expression during roman times. Men were proven by birth, not by actions. At least with the nobility, and the nobility were the ones who wrote the books, so...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
That may be true in part, but there are some little places here and there in literature where they seem to consider more one's actions. They still give much importance to courageous deeds etc, even if most of the time they relate the courageous deeds of noblemen. This phrase doesn't seem to me to be something that couldn't have been said by a Roman; now I don't know if it actually was, I don't know where it's from.
 

LVXORD

Civis Illustris
Could be from anywhere...
 

LVXORD

Civis Illustris
When you said instruments, you mean that the quote was engraved onto them?
 

LVXORD

Civis Illustris
Yes, exactly.
What tell us as historians is that the phrase was in use in the 17th Century but it does not mean that it wasn't in use before that.
 

Victus

Member
What tell us as historians is that the phrase was in use in the 17th Century but it does not mean that it wasn't in use before that.
Yes, but as any good historian will tell you, absence of evidence is, until it is discovered, evidence of absence.
 

LVXORD

Civis Illustris
Yes, but as any good historian will tell you, absence of evidence is, until it is discovered, evidence of absence.
That can be a very closed minded view in formal logic.
 
Top