I am currently studying Latin in high school (third year), so I do have a mild understanding of how the language works. But I would like to know whether this translation is correct. For various reasons, I can't ask my Latin teacher.

Hic fortissimus, primus inter pares.

hoping to mean:

This most powerful (individual), the first amongst equals.

Also, I am looking for an adjective to mean "powerful" as in "with great authority/influential". Would you recommend any other word besides "fortes"?


For the first part of the sentence, it would be more correct to specify “this most powerful (man)” because “hic” and “fortissimus” are masculine. I have some doubts about the second part of the sentence because “pares” is an adjective and not a noun, but the author could have just left out a word (ellipsis) and implied “equal men” or something, which is pretty close to “equals”. Other than that, it looks good to me!

As for your second question, “potens, potentis” is a third declension adjective that is commonly used in a similar sense as what you described. I find the website Whitaker’s Words extremely helpful for finding both the Latin for English words and vice versa.

Good luck with the rest of your translation!

  • 6
    primus inter pares is actually an established idiom with its own Wiki page! As for hic fortissimus, it seems more like "this [man is the] strongest" to me. +1 for potens
    – brianpck
    Nov 16 '16 at 22:10
  • Thank you both very much. But, @brianpck , could "Hic potentissimus" be understood as "This [men who is the] most powerful"? I don't know whether this was apparent or not, but I am trying to translate an English text to Latin, in a more poetical manner ‒ some sort of motto, if you wish. Nov 18 '16 at 2:26
  • @SuperSoldier It certainly could mean that, in a certain context. As a standalone sentence, without further context, I think my interpretation would definitely be more natural.
    – brianpck
    Nov 18 '16 at 3:31
  • @brianpck Could you avoid the ambiguity by writing Hic fortissimus (vir) est primus inter pares? Would that be a more natural way of communicating the OP's intention? Or would et be a better choice than est?
    – ktm5124
    Nov 29 '17 at 8:46
  • I guess the question, more generally, is whether Latin has an analog to the English appositive construction that the OP would like to translate.
    – ktm5124
    Nov 29 '17 at 8:52

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