How can I translate "It is the idea that someone/something's existence is a threat to peace that is a threat to peace." into Latin? The main problems here are that I don't know how to translate the It-Cleft sentence (i.e. the It ... that ... part) into Latin, and that I can't make sure whether or not Latin has the Appositive Clause (the idea that ... part)

1 Answer 1


As far as I am concerned it does not work in the way that it works in English. A translation's duty is to give the meaning of the sentence rather than offering a translation exactly word by word, hence I would probably go for something like:

Thinking someone/something's existence is a threat to peace is itself a threat (to peace):

cōgitāre aliquem/aliquid exīstentiam minātionem contrā pācem esse, ipsum minātio est (contrā pācem).

Explanation of using accusative - For example, when you wish to say "I think (that) this pencil is nice" the construction of the sentence in Latin would be "cōgitō hanc graphidem(graphis, graphidis, f.) bonam esse".

  • 3
    I like the overall construction, but I believe "threat" in the original English essentially means "danger," whereas minatio is a threat as an action. Possibly something like paci detrimento esse would work better. Mar 31, 2023 at 22:11
  • @SebastianKoppehel I see what you mean, but since "thinking" is an action, I believe it is still compliant - like the difference between an act actus and actionactio. Hmm, something to search about. Thank you for your addition! Mar 31, 2023 at 22:32
  • Also to consider using alicujus instead of aliquem. Like the English, I guess in the Latin the genitive is to be preferred here. though I could not find classical examples of existentia
    – d_e
    Apr 1, 2023 at 8:36
  • @d_e I was going for "to be an existence" like: aliquem esse existentiam. In terms of existentia being derived from existens: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/existentia Apr 2, 2023 at 11:44

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