I would like to check translation of a motto that would read "[we] persevere in endeavours/resolve".

I consider using either persto or persevero. The latter seems better to me as it resonates with Modern English "to persevere". What are the lexical differences between these two words?

I'm completely zero in Latin grammar, but as far as I understand I should use genitive/ablative case here. So I came up with the following options:

Impetuum perseverantia

Impetibus perseverantia

Perseverantia in impetibus

Are these grammatically correct? Thank you.

2 Answers 2


For a motto there are several snappier, more 'Latiny', phrases that you might consider. If you want to pursue a steadfast course — which is how I interpret your motto's purpose — you should probably indicate an objective in some way, for which I suggest the word propositum. There are many first-rank classical writers who use the word, adding an adjective or verb in some form to indicate the required persistence.

Caesar, for example, uses propositum tenere, 'to stick to the objective' (B. Civ. III, 42 : ubi propositum tenere non potuit, 'when he was unable to hold to his plan'). Rather more weakly, the verb habere is used instead of tenere, meaning merely to have a goal in mind. Suetonius (de Gramm. 24) has in proposito mansit, 'remained on his objective', meaning that [M. Valerius Probus] did not give up.

Using the first person singular, the form of verb to use in those phrases is either teneo, habeo or maneo. In a jussive sense, you might use the subjunctive: propositum teneamus is 'let us hold to our plan/task/objective' etc.

If you want your motto to state its intention as a matter of principle, you could choose an adjective, as in tenax ad propositum or tenax in proposito, 'tenacious in endeavour ' (the plural is tenaces). This is what I should prefer for myself.


Another option for "endeavor" is inceptum, which literally means "something begun". (Impetus isn't quite right here -- it means "attack, assault" rather than "endeavor".) There are a few attested Latin phrases using this word, all meaning more or less "persevere in what one has begun":

  • haerere in incepto (Vergil, Aeneid 2.654)
  • inceptum peragere (ibid. 4.452)
  • inceptum perficere (Sallust, Jugurtha 11)
  • permanere in incepto (Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares 5.14)

These are all more or less synonymous, though with some nuances of meaning. I've cited them with infinitives, but you may want first-person singular or some other verb forms (if so we can help you find the correct form). Also, the word order is fluid so you can just as well say in incepto haerere, peragere inceptum, etc.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.