Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem

Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem

[en-se pe-tit plah-ki-dahm soob lee-ber-tah-te kwee-ey-tem; Eng. en-see pee-tit plas-i-dam suhb lib-er-tey-tee kwahy-ee-tem]
Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (Latin "By the sword it seeks peace [but only] under liberty") is a state motto of Massachusetts in the United States, adopted in 1775. It has not been specifically adopted as the motto of the state but has been accepted as an element of the arms and seal of the Commonwealth.

For the first time it appeared on a state seal and meant that the colony no longer recognized the authority of the Royal Governor General Thomas Gage. The source is attributed to the letter written by a father of an English soldier and politician Algernon Sidney: "It is said that the University of Copenhagen brought their album unto you, desiring you to write something therein; and that you did scribere in albo these words: "Manus haec inimica tyrannis ense petit placidam sub libertate quietam". (Translated, this means "This hand of mine, which is hostile to tyrants, seeks by the sword quiet peace under liberty.") The last words were then written in Sidney's "Book of Mottoes", particularly favored by some in the American colonies.


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