I'm trying to translate this sentence, but I'm not sure how. It looks like either veto is the dative (substantive?) meaning 'old', or it's the verb veto, 'I stop from happening'. With 'non licet', I was thinking it made some sense to say, "whatever I may not stop from happening, it is certainly not proper", but that isn't a very coherent sentence. Another thought I had was "whatever old thing is not allowed, is certainly not proper." But again, I can't get a real sense for what this means, I'm sure there's an idiomatic way to phrase it.

[Context: The sentence comes from Cassel's dictionary, entry for oportet, attributed to Cicero]

  • Vetus (adjective, old) is a tricky one; the Ablative is vetere (pretending to be the Infinitive of veto which is vetare).
    – Hugh
    Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 13:32

2 Answers 2


It seems to be a typo, the original sentence being Quidquid vero non licet, certe non oportet. Google search. The quote comes from Cic. Balb. 8

Vero means in truth, in fact, certainly, truly, to be sure, surely, assuredly

  • 2
    Oh that makes much more sense. Thanks Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 1:23

yeah, it's supposed to be vero, which serves as an adverb

All that which, truthfully, is not lawful, assuredly is unbecoming / unnecessary.

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