3

Trying to verify that the Latin "Una Autem Lux En Via" actually means "United we light the Way"... not sure where the person got it from, but I have my doubts.

2
  • 1
    Una seems an odd way of translating "united": it means "one (feminine)". I would expect something like coniuncti ("joined"). – Colin Fine Aug 25 '18 at 10:05
  • 1
    It isn't good Latin and, in fact, I'd say it was hardly Latin at all. The website of the (English) University of Kingston upon Hull has "Our motto, Lampada Ferens, translates as 'carrying the light of learning', and over the years, we've shared that light with thousands of people" ..., which would have a better Latin feel to it. – Tom Cotton Aug 25 '18 at 14:34
3

What you've been given is most definitely not Latin.

A servus praelucens was a slave whose duty it was to light his master's way at night. Suetonius mentions (Augustus 29.3) an episode in which one of Augustus's was struck dead by lightning during a stormy night. The verb praeluceo means 'to light the way.' No separate word for 'way' is needed. Although it often indicates the person for whom one lights the way, it doesn't have to.

For 'united,' there are several options – for example:

  • The adverb una means 'in one body, company, etc., together' and should work okay.
  • The verb coniungo can mean 'to join (parties of men) into a single force, unite (forces)' or 'to bring into close association, unite (by friendship, obligation, kinship, etc.). The unprefixed, simple verb iungo can have similar meanings: 'to unite (troops, etc.) in a body' or 'to unite or attach (persons) as friends, allies, or sim.' So the forms iuncti or coniuncti ('united into a single body') could also work.

So, three possibilities are:

una praelucemus.

coniuncti praelucemus.

iuncti praelucemus.

Or you could do something a bit freer, like una face praelucemus – literally, 'with a single torch we light the way.'

2

Aphorisms and Mottoes often condense (?constrict) Latin structure to its limits. All the same it makes sense, and with one edit is not far off your message.

The Key word here is En, which means Look! Behold!

En Priamus, 'Hey, there's Priam' Vergil Aeneid 1, 461; et passim.

En is sometimes followed by Accusative, sometimes, as in the example from the Aeneid, Nominative.

En Via means 'Behold the road!'

or 'Behold the path, the way, the method!'

Una autem lux means 'There is truly One Light;' or 'One truly is the light.'

Latin often leaves out 'There is,' 'There are.'
If you 'google' Una autem Lux,' you'll get at least three hits; it is assumed that you know what this 'Light' is, in the examples shown.
Autem, always goes second word. It usually introduces a contrast; here it is simply emphatic. As inCicero: “Ecce autem subitum divortium,” Cic. Clu. 5, 14; (see Autem 9.)'truly, indeed.' (ref: perseus.tufts Lewis & Short)

"Una Autem Lux En Via"''There is truly One Light; Behold the Path.''

But if, by any chance, En is a misprint for In, then Via becomes Ablative; and we can lose the ';'

"Una Autem Lux In Via"''There is truly One Light upon the Path.''

1

Update: my answer was based on a question with typos. My suggestion still remains though (any feedback welcome).


I would think it is wrong. Antem does not seem to be a Latin word (e.g. empty results here and here). Also, lux is a noun, not a verb.

If you want to say "united we light the way", you could use instead:

una luminamus viam

or

una elucidamus viam

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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