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mori quam foedari

English translation: Death Before Dishonour

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09:55 Sep 1, 2000
Latin to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
Latin term or phrase: mori quam foedari
what is the implied meaning
briansmith
English translation:Death Before Dishonour
Explanation:
... but it should be "malo mori quam foedari".

In case you are interested, the literal translation is "rather die than be dishonoured"

It is much used as a family motto. I would have like to find its origin but didn't succeed.


Selected response from:

Randi Stenstrop
Local time: 07:33
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5malo mori quam foedarisonia a
na +2Death Before DishonourRandi Stenstrop
na +1Death rather than disgrace (I would rather die than be dishonored)
Brigitte Gendebien


  

Answers


1 hr peer agreement (net): +1
Death rather than disgrace (I would rather die than be dishonored)


Explanation:
Motto: "Malo Mori Quam Foedari"

Translation: "Death rather than disgrace"


(http://www.ryanims.com/Genes/coat.htm)

More:
http://www.gate.net/~shipbrk/mottoes2.html
http://www.ozemail.com.au/~enigman/latin.html
http://www.artstein.com/latin.html
http://members.tripod.com/~Dave_Barnwell/Barnwell_Ireland.ht...




    Reference: http://winshop.com.au/merv/mottos.htm
    Reference: http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byform/mailing-lists/exlibris...
Brigitte Gendebien
Belgium
Local time: 07:33
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mariusz Rytel
1794 days
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1 hr peer agreement (net): +2
Death Before Dishonour


Explanation:
... but it should be "malo mori quam foedari".

In case you are interested, the literal translation is "rather die than be dishonoured"

It is much used as a family motto. I would have like to find its origin but didn't succeed.




Randi Stenstrop
Local time: 07:33
Native speaker of: Native in DanishDanish
PRO pts in pair: 24
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kirill Semenov
1478 days

agree  sonia a: Origin: 14th-c. Order of the Ermine, tho' perhaps it's older than that! See below.
3894 days
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3894 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
malo mori quam foedari


Explanation:
The two previous entries are indeed correct. The most common complete form of the motto is "Malo mori quam foedari" (I prefer to die rather than to be dishonoured; death before dishonour). The second verb, foedo means literally "to sully" or "to foul", but metaphorically it came to mean "to disgrace/ to dishonour" in Classical Latin. The motto also sometimes appears as "Potius mori quam foedari" (Better to die than to be dishonoured). Its origins, as far as I can tell, date to the Order of the Ermine, a chivalric order (Lyons Club for knights) founded in Brittany in the 14th century. The punning use of foedari refers to the idea that the ermine would sooner die than have its fine fur dirtied. Here is an article in English about the order from Wikipedia, as well as the French Wikipedia article, which explains the motto.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Ermine
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordre_de_l'Hermine_(Bretagne)

It can also be found on one of the most famous paintings by Vittore Carpaccio, a fifteenth-century Venetian. His portrait of an anonymous knight, housed at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, has a small cartellino at the bottom left with the motto, and, below it, a small ermine. You can see a detailed image of the painting here:

http://www.museothyssen.org/en/thyssen/zoom_obra/556

sonia a
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