How would you say (or express the sentiment of) "no slavery beyond (as in 'after)' death" in Latin?


3 Answers 3


Here's a suggestion that borrows from Anserin's helpful answer:

mortui nullus est dominus.

This literally means:

A dead man has no master.

If you're more interested in the general sense rather than the specific wording, Seneca has a very relevant section in his 26th letter to Lucilius, where he gives his traditional closing quote. In this case, the quote is from Epicurus:

"Meditare mortem"; qui hoc dicit, meditari libertatem iubet. Qui mori didicit, servire dedidicit; supra omnem potentiam est, certe extra omnem. Quid ad illum carcer et custodia et claustra? Liberum ostium habet.

My translation:

"Reflect on death." He who says this commands us to reflect on freedom. He who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave. This is above every power; indeed, he is beyond every power. What prison, guards, and bars can touch him? His door is open [i.e. free].


I think that in classical Latin, we wouldn't say that there is no more slavery, but rather that there are no more slaves. In general, abstract nouns are avoided.

post mortem nemo servus (erit) (no one will be a slave after death/their death)

Here is a looser translation:

nemo dominus cui mortuus est / mortuis nemo dominus (a dead man has no master)

  • 2
    Why cui mortuus est instead of simply mortuo or mortuis?
    – Draconis
    Apr 22 at 16:08
  • 2
    Seconding Draconis: I'm pretty sure substituting cui for ei qui is more a Greek than a Latin phenomenon. I would say: "mortui nullus est dominus"
    – brianpck
    Apr 22 at 16:11
  • @Draconis Just because I remembered reading 'cui mortuus est' recently, but I like your suggestion
    – Anserin
    Apr 22 at 16:18
  • 2
    @brianpck That phrasing is different enough I'd add it as a separate answer!
    – Draconis
    Apr 22 at 16:37
  • 2
    @Anserin Do you remember where you read it? A quick Google search just shows a couple examples that mean, "for whom X is dead," not "for someone who is dead."
    – brianpck
    Apr 22 at 18:59

Maybe "Nulla servitudo post mortem."?

Nulla - zero, no

servitudo - slavery, from "servus" (slave)

post - after

mortem - accusative singular of "mors" (death), because "post" is followed by accusative

  • 5
    How about adding an explanation of how your translation works and how its meaning compares to the original? You've been told before and I tell you again: A context-free dump is not a very useful answer, even if the Latin is perfect. Compare your answer to the highly voted translation answers on the site and you can't miss the difference.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Apr 22 at 18:59
  • I'm not sure this grammar is correct; I'm accustomed to a different word order.
    – Joshua
    Apr 23 at 14:55
  • 2
    @Joshua The word order is fine. I don't know what you're accustomed to, but the only thing that Latin grammar requires is that post comes before mortem and that none of the other words here come between them (a hypothetical adjective modifying mortem would, of course, be allowed to). Apart from that the word order is quite free. It would be OK and not unusual to say Servitudo post mortem nulla. (Reginald Foster is said to have taught by the motto: Dies sine auctoribus nulla (ne prima quidem)) Apr 24 at 23:04

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