Duty requires sacrifice

Nessunday

New Member
Hey guys,

Can anyone tell me what the translation would be for
'Duty requires sacrifice'

(Its for part of a tattoo design)
Cheers
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
One way of translating your request could be (quite litteral version):
Officium requirit sacrificium.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Sacrificium is a religious sacrifice, as when you slay a bull before an altar or so.

I might suggest iacturam instead.
 

Agrippa

Well-Known Member
How about

Nullum officium
sine labore


NVLLVM OFFICIVM
SINE LABORE

(No duty without labor)


Cf. Horace sat. 1, 9, 59f.:

Nil sine magno vita labore dedit mortalibus

(Life allows nothing to mortals without great labor.)
 

Agrippa

Well-Known Member
Additional remark:

Nullum officium sine labore] more detailed: Nullum officium sine labore praestatur (verbatim: No duty is fulfilled without labor/pain/suffering)

praestatur
may be omitted to get a more concise motto.
 

Nessunday

New Member
I should clerify,

'Duty requires sacrifice'
As in sacrificing everything (parts of your mind and body) for military service/in the service of others

Hope that helps
 

Agrippa

Well-Known Member
Thank you for clarifying. Your military motto could be:

Nullum officium sine capitis devotione.

i. e. No duty without devoting of yourself.
 
Last edited:

Bradicus

New Member
Duty requires sacrifice.

Duty: certainly officium is technically correct in this sense, but seems a bit impersonal. I would suggest pietas, which expresses a duty to the gods, family (particularly parents), friends, and country; duty based on personal devotion.

Sacrifice: Agrippa had it right, labor - toil requiring sacrifice.

Requires: requiro works and is a safe choice; but exigo - to demand, require, enforce, exact the performance of any ... duty (L&S, sv.) takes the sense up a notch.

pietas exigit laborem

not a standard word order (s-o-v), nor based on the English, but rather emphasis and euphony.
 
Duty: certainly officium is technically correct in this sense, but seems a bit impersonal. I would suggest pietas, which expresses a duty to the gods, family (particularly parents), friends, and country; duty based on personal devotion.
Yes, pietas is better, but I don't think that the Romans had a word for "duty" in a particular modern sense: doing what one requires of oneself based solely upon ones own concept of duty, rather than upon personal devotion or official obligation. I don't think that either officium or pietas could properly be used to translate Oscar Wilde's statement that: "Mr. Henry James writes fiction as if it were a painful duty."
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
Where did he say that? I rather like it, but the internet only throws up sites that often trade in fake quotes, and without chapter and verse it all looks slightly dodgy.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
In that sentence, officium would actually work well, I think.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I agree.
 

Agrippa

Well-Known Member
In that sentence, officium would actually work well, I think.
I agree, as well: Consentio cum Bitmap et Pacifica. Inspicite quaeso, ut alia praetermittam, Thesaurum Linguae Latinae (TLL) s. v. officium. Permulta ibi exempla afferuntur quibus officium confirmatur. Cic. inv. 1, 6:
id quod facere debet (sc. orator), officium esse dicimus
Mar. Victorin. rhet. p. 197, 14:
officium, quod ex legibus vel ex natura necesse est nos implere
Coniungunter saepe cum hac notione officii denominationes professionum: officium vilici, tonsoris, remigis, rhetoris, oratoris, medici, militis (cf. Caes. Gall. 5, 33, 2: Cotta ... in pugna militis officia praestabat) &c..
 

Agrippa

Well-Known Member
By the way: How about Nelson’s famous battle signal hoisted to the mastheads of the Victory:

“England expects that every man will do his duty.”

Britannia exspectat ut suum quisque praestet officium

respectively:

Britanni exspectant ut suum quisque praestet officium.
 

Agrippa

Well-Known Member
... Oscar Wilde's statement that: "Mr. Henry James writes fiction as if it were a painful duty."
Where did he say that? ...
Source of quotation:
Oscar Wilde: The Decay Of Lying: An Observation
___________________________________________________________________________________
Henricus James sic narrat tamquam officio ingrato sive molesto munere fungatur.
 
Last edited:
Top