There are things in history which seem to have produced the opposite effect to the one that was intended: communism, fascism, wars and revolutions. Political credos which began life as philosophical schools-of-thought on societal management, produced very little when deployed on the ground.

How to express this concept, in Latin?

Firstly, a leap of faith: "a philosophical school-of-thought on societal management" can be translated into one-word of Latin, feminine noun, "doctrina" = "a system of rules" (Oxford).

"ea (doctrina) fecit adversam conclusionem uni quae destinata esset." = "This (doctrine) produced the opposite end to the one that was intended."

This, incorporating a relative "qui"-clause with a (perfect) subjunctive-of-characteristic.

Is it correct?

  • 4
    There seems to be a vote to close for lack of clarity and a vote down. Perhaps the question would be received better if you removed the first paragraph entirely and focused solely on the sentence to be translated and your attempts and thoughts on it. If you want to give more context, you can give it after giving the core question.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Dec 23, 2021 at 17:25
  • @Joonas llmavirta: Thanks. The intro. has been shortened.
    – tony
    Dec 24, 2021 at 7:48

1 Answer 1


For “producing the opposite end,” I would prefer contrarium eventum efficere or simply contrarium efficere. And for “intend,” why not intendere? I am not sure what you mean by uni qui, although I think it doesn't quite work; but contrarium can be used with atque/ac to say “opposite of/to.”

So we get:

Doctrina contrarium effecit ac intendebat.

Or perhaps: ⋯ ac indendebatur (impersonal passive; i.e, “opposite of what was intended”), because the doctrina may not have an intent itself, but its unmentioned champions may.

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    uni qui most certainly doesn't work. I think tony is translating "one who" overly literally.
    – cmw
    Dec 23, 2021 at 20:58
  • @cmw: The dative, "uni", after "adversam" = "opposite to the one"; I was going to use "rei", "opposite to the matter"; would that have been any better?
    – tony
    Dec 24, 2021 at 9:21
  • @sebastian Koppehel: I was going to use "incendebatur"; then I thought it should be the perfect tense; then the subjunctive-of-characteristic. Does "destinatus esset" at least nearly work?
    – tony
    Dec 24, 2021 at 9:25
  • 2
    @tony I think the intent is not really an event, but a (previously) existing state, which we might express with the pluperfect in English ("to what they had intended"), so this seems like a textbook situation for the imperfect to me. I also see no immediate reason for a subjunctive. But yes, I think you could indeed say something like: rem effecit ei adversam, quae destinata erat. Dec 24, 2021 at 14:46

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