Novus ordo seclorum

The phrase Novus ordo seclorum (Latin for "New Order of the Ages") appears on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, first designed in 1782 and printed on the back of the United States one-dollar bill since 1935. The phrase also appears on the coat of arms of the Yale School of Management, Yale University's business school. The phrase is often mistranslated as "New World Order".[1]

Reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States

Contents

Origin and meaning

The phrase is taken from the fourth Eclogue of Virgil, which contains a passage (lines 5-8) that reads:

Latin English
Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis ætas; Now comes the final era of the Sibyl's song;
Magnus ab integro sæclorum nascitur ordo. The great order of the ages is born afresh.
iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna, And now justice returns, honored rules return;
iam nova progenies cælo demittitur alto. now a new lineage is sent down from high heaven.

The forms saecla, saeclorum etc. were normal alternatives to the more common saecula etc. throughout the history of Latin poetry and prose. The form saeculorum is impossible in hexameter verse: the ae and o are long, the u short by position. For the medieval exchange between ae, æ and e, see Æ; the word medieval (mediæval) itself is another example.

Medieval Christians read Virgil's poem as a prophecy of the coming of Christ. The Augustan Age, although pre-Christian, was viewed as a golden age preparing the world for the coming of Christ. The great poets of this age were viewed as a source of revelation and light upon the Christian mysteries to come. [2]

The word seclorum does not mean "secular", as one might assume, but is the genitive (possessive) plural form of the word saeculum, meaning (in this context) generation, century, or age. Saeculum did come to mean "age, world" in late, Christian Latin, and "secular" is derived from it, through secularis. However, the adjective "secularis," meaning "worldly," is not equivalent to the genitive plural "seclorum," meaning "of the ages."[3]

Thus the motto Novus ordo seclorum can be translated as "A new order of the ages." It was proposed by Charles Thomson, the Latin expert who was involved in the design of the Great Seal of the United States, to signify "the beginning of the new American Era" as of the date of the Declaration of Independence.

See also

References

  1. ^ Greatseal.com
  2. ^ Ann Raftery Meyer: Medieval allegory and the building of the new Jerusalem DS Brewer, 2003. ISBN 978-0-85991-796-4
  3. ^ Lewis and Short, A Latin Dictionary: Founded on Andrews' Edition of Freund's Latin Dictionary: Revised, Enlarged, and in Great Part Rewritten by Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D. and Charles Short, LL.D. The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1879, s. vv.

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Novus Ordo Seclorum — Обратная сторона Большой печати США Novus Ordo Seclorum (лат. Novus Ordo Seclorum, читается: «Новус ордо секлорум»)  дословно означает «порядок нового века». Этот девиз находится на обратной стороне …   Википедия

  • Novus Ordo Seclorum — on the Great Seal of the United States of America, apparently an allusion to line 5 of Virgil s Eclogue IV, in an 18c. edition: Magnus ab integro seclorum nasitur ordo The great series of ages begins anew. The seal s designer, Charles Thomson,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Novus Ordo Seclorum — Revers du grand sceau des États Unis d Amérique. Novus Ordo Seclorum est l une des deux devises qui apparaît sur le revers du Grand sceau des États Unis d Amérique (l autre étant Annuit Coeptis). L expression se traduit littéralement comme le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Novus ordo seclorum — Rückseite des Großen Siegels der Vereinigten Staaten. Novus ordo seclorum (auch saeculorum; Latein für „Neuordnung der Zeit“) ist eines der beiden Mottos auf der Rückseite des Siegels der Vereinigten Staaten, das sich seit 1935 auch auf dem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Novus Ordo Seclorum — Reverso del Escudo de Estados Unidos. La frase Novus Ordo Seclorum (en latín, «Nuevo Orden de los Siglos [o las Eras]») aparece en el reverso del Escudo de Estados Unidos, diseñado por primera vez en 1782 e impreso en la parte de atrás del… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Novus ordo seclorum — Обратная сторона Большой печати США Novus ordo seclorum (лат.)  дословно …   Википедия

  • novus ordo seclorum — foreign term Etymology: Latin a new cycle of the ages motto on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • novus ordo seclorum — /noh woos ohrdd doh se kloh rddoom/; Eng. /noh veuhs awr doh se klawr euhm, klohr /, Latin. a new order of the ages (is born): motto on the reverse of the great seal of the United States (adapted from Vergil s Eclogues IV:5). * * * …   Universalium

  • novus ordo seclorum* — no•vus or•do se•clo•rum [[t]ˈnoʊ wʊs ˈoʊr doʊ sɛˈkloʊ rʊm[/t]] eng. [[t]ˈnoʊ vəs ˈɔr doʊ sɛˈklɔr əm, ˈkloʊr [/t]] fot lat. a new order of the ages (is born): motto on the great seal of the United States …   From formal English to slang

  • novus ordo seclorum — /noh woos ohrdd doh se kloh rddoom/; Eng. /noh veuhs awr doh se klawr euhm, klohr /, Latin. a new order of the ages (is born): motto on the reverse of the great seal of the United States (adapted from Vergil s Eclogues IV:5) …   Useful english dictionary


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