I want to craft a Latin motto for a literary work. This motto would mean "I seek peace, I make war by duty".

I thought about this: "Pacem adfecto, officiosus bellum gero".

I have no strong doubt about "Pacem adfecto" and "bellum gero", but I am uneasy with "officiosus". While it means "dutiful", I fear that it would be mainly service oriented, used for the duties of an employee for example.

Any thought on this?

  • Would pius be better than officiosus?
    – Figulus
    Commented Sep 1, 2020 at 2:36

1 Answer 1


How about:

"Volo pacem, officio paro bellum." I want peace, out of duty I prepare for war.

The verbage here is taken from the saying "vis pacem, para bellum." If you want peace, prepare for war."

Your phrase literally means "I make towards peace, dutiful I prepare for war."

Officiosus feels clunky too me, and its a bit too direct -- it sounds standoffish. It would be easier to use the ablative form of officium, officio, which I think gives a better sense of obligation to one's duty without obviously glorifying oneself. Adfecto feels too verbose and its meaning shifted very early on in Latin to a negative connotation. Not only that but its meaning changed substantially. I don't like gero (certainly not in the present), because it effectively says that you are presently waging war. It seems to me that war is your last resort (although I might be misreading your intentions), but if I am correct then you want a word saying that you're prepared to fight, and not that you are fighting.

  • The man actually wages war, because it is his duty since his country declared war, even though he is more inclined to peace and seeks peace. So gero is probably the good verb. Thanks for the rest of your remarks.
    – Steph
    Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 21:48
  • Gaudeo ut iuvare possim! Happy to help!
    – Nickimite
    Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 21:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.