Annuit cœptis

Annuit cœptis (/ˈænuɪt ˈsɛptɪs/; in Classical Latin: [ˈannuɪt ˈkoe̯ptiːs]) is one of two mottos on the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States. (The second motto is Novus ordo seclorum; another motto appears on the obverse (front) side of the Great Seal: E pluribus unum.)[1] Taken from the Latin words annuo (third-person singular present or perfect annuit), "to nod" or "to approve", and coeptum (plural coepta), "commencement, undertaking", it is literally translated, "[providence] favors our undertakings" or "[providence] has favored our undertakings" (annuit could be in either the present or perfect tense).[2]

Great Seal of the United States (reverse)
The reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States

On the Great Seal

In 1782, Sam Adams appointed a design artist, William Barton of Philadelphia, to bring a proposal for the national seal.[3] For the reverse, Barton suggested a thirteen-layered pyramid underneath the Eye of Providence. The mottos which Barton chose to accompany the design were Deo Favente ("with God's favor", or more literally, "with God favoring") and Perennis ("Everlasting"). The pyramid and Perennis motto had come from a $50 Continental currency bill designed by Francis Hopkinson.[4][a]

Deofavente
Barton's Design with Deo Favente and Perennis.

Barton explained that the motto alluded to the Eye of Providence: "Deo favente which alludes to the Eye in the Arms, meant for the Eye of Providence."[5] In western art, God is traditionally represented by the Eye of Providence, which principally symbolizes God's omniscience.

When designing the final version of the Great Seal, Charles Thomson (a former Latin teacher) kept the pyramid and eye for the reverse side but replaced the two mottos, using Annuit Cœptis instead of Deo Favente (and Novus Ordo Seclorum instead of Perennis). When he provided his official explanation of the meaning of this motto, he wrote:

The Eye over it [the pyramid] and the motto Annuit Cœptis allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favor of the American cause.[6]

Change from Deo Favente to Annuit Cœptis

Great Seal of United States
Detail of the U.S. one-dollar bill.

Annuit Cœptis is translated by the U.S. State Department,[7] the U.S. Mint,[8] and the U.S. Treasury[9] as, "He [God] has favored our undertakings" (brackets in original). However, the original Latin does not explicitly state who (or what) is the subject of the sentence.[10] Robert Hieronimus, who wrote a Ph.D. dissertation about this portion of the Great Seal, argued that Thomson's intent was to find a phrase that contained exactly 13 letters to fit the theme of the seal.[11] On the obverse was E Pluribus Unum (13 letters), along with 13 stars, 13 horizontal stripes (on the shield on back of the US$1 Dollar Bill), 13 vertical stripes, 13 arrows, 13 olive leaves, and 13 olives. The frustum under the motto, Annuit Cœptis, has 13 layers. According to Hieronimus, Annuit Cœptis has 13 letters and was selected to fit the theme. Deo Favente had only ten letters.

Classical source of the motto

According to Richard S. Patterson and Richardson Dougall, Annuit coeptis (meaning "favours our undertakings") and the other motto on the reverse of the Great Seal, Novus ordo seclorum (meaning "new order of the ages") can both be traced to lines by the Roman poet Virgil. Annuit cœptis comes from the Aeneid, book IX, line 625, which reads, Iuppiter omnipotens, audacibus adnue coeptis.[12] It is a prayer by Ascanius, the son of the hero of the story, Aeneas, which translates to, "Jupiter Almighty, favour [my] bold undertakings", just before slaying an enemy warrior, Numanus.

The same language also occurred in an earlier poem of Virgil, the Georgics. In line I.40 of that work, occurs the phrase "da facilem cursum atque audacibus annue cœptis". The line is addressed to Caesar Augustus and translates to "give [us] an easy path and nod at our audacious undertakings."

Notes

  1. ^ The note can be seen here, and the pyramid portion here.

References

  1. ^ "E Pluribus Unum - Origin and Meaning of the Motto Carried by the American Eagle". greatseal.com.
  2. ^ "Annuit Coeptis - Origin and Meaning of the Motto Above the Pyramid & Eye". greatseal.com.
  3. ^ MacArthur, John D. (2011). "Third Committee". Retrieved 11-25-2011.
  4. ^ "Third Committee's Design for the Great Seal - 1782". greatseal.com.
  5. ^ Papers of the Continental Congress, item 23, folios 137-139.
  6. ^ Journals of the Continental Congress, June 1782
  7. ^ "The Great Seal of the United States" (PDF). U.S.0Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs. 2003. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  8. ^ Bureau of Engraving, Currency Notes
  9. ^ U.S. Treasury (2010). "Portraits & Designs". Retrieved 11-25-2011.
  10. ^ In The Oxford Handbook of Church and State in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010]
  11. ^ Hieronimus, Robert (2005). Founding Fathers, Secret Societies: Freemasons, Illuminati, Rosicrucians, and the Decoding of the Great Seal. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co. pp. 111–. ISBN 978-1-59477-865-0.
  12. ^ Vergilius Maro, Publius (29 - 19 BC). Aeneid. Retrieved 11-25-2011.

Further reading

External links

American Creed

The American Creed is a statement of the defining element of American identity, first formulated by Thomas Jefferson and elaborated by many others, that includes liberty, equality, individualism, populism, and laissez faire.. Not to be confused with Dean Alfange's "An American's Creed".

Backmasking

Backmasking is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward onto a track that is meant to be played forward. Backmasking is a deliberate process, whereas a message found through phonetic reversal may be unintentional.

Backmasking was popularised by The Beatles, who used backward instrumentation on their 1966 album Revolver. Artists have since used backmasking for artistic, comedic and satiric effect, on both analogue and digital recordings. The technique has also been used to censor words or phrases for "clean" releases of explicit songs.

In 1969, rumors of a backmasked message in the Beatles song "Revolution 9" sparked the Paul is dead urban legend. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Christian groups in the United States alleged that backmasking was being used by prominent rock musicians for Satanic purposes, leading to record-burning protests and proposed anti-backmasking legislation by state and federal governments.Many popular musicians have since been accused of including backmasked messages in their music. However, apparent backmasked messages may in fact be examples of pareidolia - the brain's tendency to recognize patterns in meaningless data - or coincidental phonetic reversal.

Contemporary Latin

Contemporary Latin is the form of the Latin language used from the end of the 19th century through the present. Various kinds of contemporary Latin can be distinguished, including the use of single words in taxonomy, and the fuller ecclesiastical use in the Catholic church - but Living or Spoken Latin (the use of Latin as a language in its own right as a full-fledged means of expression) is the primary subject of this article.

E pluribus unum

E pluribus unum (; Classical Latin: [ˈeː ˈpluːrɪbʊs ˈuːnũː])—Latin for "Out of many, one" (translated as "One out of many" or "One from many")—is a 13-letter traditional motto of the United States, appearing on the Great Seal along with Annuit cœptis (Latin for "he approves the undertaking [lit. 'things undertaken']") and Novus ordo seclorum (Latin for "New order of the ages"), and adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782. Never codified by law, E pluribus unum was considered a de facto motto of the United States until 1956 when the United States Congress passed an act (H. J. Resolution 396), adopting "In God We Trust" as the official motto.

Eye of Providence

The Eye of Providence (or the all-seeing eye of God) is a symbol, having its origin in Christian iconography, showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light or a glory and usually enclosed by a triangle. It represents the eye of God watching over humanity (the concept of divine providence). In the modern era, a notable depiction of the eye is the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, which appears on the United States one-dollar bill.

Great Seal of the United States

The Great Seal of the United States is used to authenticate certain documents issued by the federal government of the United States. The phrase is used both for the physical seal itself, which is kept by the United States Secretary of State, and more generally for the design impressed upon it. The Great Seal was first used publicly in 1782.

The obverse of the Great Seal is used as the national coat of arms of the United States. It is officially used on documents such as United States passports, military insignia, embassy placards, and various flags. As a coat of arms, the design has official colors; the physical Great Seal itself, as affixed to paper, is monochrome.

Since 1935, both sides of the Great Seal have appeared on the reverse of the one-dollar bill. The Seal of the President of the United States is directly based on the Great Seal, and its elements are used in numerous government agency and state seals.

Heavy Metal Poisoning

"Heavy Metal Poisoning" is a song by American rock band Styx. It was included as the fifth track on their 1983 studio album Kilroy Was Here.

The song in the story of Kilroy Was Here has the character of Dr Righteous (portrayed by James "JY" Young) preaching the "evils" of rock and roll. Although the song got only minor airplay on FM rock radio, its music video received significant airplay on MTV.

It would be released as a B-side to the single "Music Time" (from the band's 1984 double live album Caught in the Act) in 1984.

Kilroy Was Here (album)

Kilroy Was Here is the eleventh studio album by the rock band Styx, released on February 22, 1983. The album is named after a famous World War II graffiti, 'Kilroy was here'. It was the final album of original material to be released by the "classic" lineup of Dennis DeYoung, Tommy Shaw, James "J.Y." Young, John Panozzo, and Chuck Panozzo.

The album spawned two hit singles, the synth-pop "Mr. Roboto" which later became one of their signature songs, and the power ballad "Don't Let It End". both of them were major hits in 1983, peaking at #3 and #6 respectively.

The hard rocker "Heavy Metal Poisoning", fifth track on the album, begins with the backmasked Latin words "annuit cœptis, novus ordo seclorum". Translated from the Latin, these words mean "[he/she/it] has favored our undertakings, a new order of the ages". These are the two mottoes from the Great Seal of the United States on the reverse side of the United States one-dollar bill.

The album is certified platinum by the RIAA. As of 2019, it is the last studio album by the band to be certified platinum.

Landscape with Ascanius Shooting the Stag of Sylvia

Landscape with Ascanius Shooting the Stag of Sylvia is a painting of 1682 in oil on canvas by Claude Lorrain (Claude Gellée, traditionally just "Claude" in English), a painter from the Duchy of Lorraine who spent his career in Rome. It was painted in Rome for Prince Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna (1637–1689), Claude's most important patron in his last years, and is now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. It is signed, dated with the year, and inscribed with the subject (at centre bottom), as Claude sometimes did with his less common subjects.It was Claude's last painting, and is perhaps not quite finished; it therefore does not appear in the Liber Veritatis, where he made drawings to record his finished works. His date of birth is uncertain, but he was at least in his late seventies when he painted it, perhaps as old as 82. It was a pendant to his painting, completed six years earlier, View of Carthage with Dido and Aeneas (or Aeneas's Farewell to Dido in Carthage, 1676, now Kunsthalle, Hamburg), another scene from the Aeneid, coming earlier than this one. This was the last of Claude's many harbour scenes. With the Oxford painting hung on the left, the groups of figures in each face inwards, and the main buildings frame the outsides of the pair. Both paintings feature large columns on a classical building, a punning reference to the Colonna family, who included such a column in their coat of arms.The painting depicts a scene from book 7, verses 483–499, of Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid. Aeneas's son Ascanius shoots a stag that is the house-reared pet of Silvia, daughter of "Tyrrheus, chief ranger to the Latian king" (John Dryden's translation), provoking a war with Latium for the future site of Rome. Virgil's account, over 16 lines, spends most of them describing the closeness of the relationship between Sylvia and the stag. The moment shown is one of stillness, as Ascanius takes aim and the stag, too trusting in its special status, looks at him. Once the arrow is fired the tranquil coastal landscape spreading out behind them will very quickly be disrupted by the war that Virgil goes on to describe.Unusually for Claude, the sky is overcast with storm clouds, and the trees are bent by a wind blowing from the left. The elaborate temple in the Corinthian order has long been falling into ruin. On the face of it this, in a scene from before the founding of Rome, is an anachronism that would have been apparent even in the 17th century, but it reflects the state to which ancient Roman monuments were reduced in Claude's own time. The painting therefore embraces the whole trajectory of Roman civilization across history, from its start to its end, and peoples an idealized landscape from Claude's time with figures from its early history.

List of Latin phrases (A)

This page lists English translations of notable Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. Some of the phrases are themselves translations of Greek phrases, as Greek rhetoric and literature reached its peak centuries before the rise of ancient Rome.

This list covers the letter A. See List of Latin phrases for the main list.

National symbols of the United States

National symbols of the United States are the symbols used to represent the United States of America.

Novus ordo seclorum

The phrase Novus ordo seclorum (Latin for "New order of the ages"; English: ; Latin pronunciation: [ˈnowʊs ˈordo seˈklorũ]) is the second of two mottos that appear on the reverse (or back side) of the Great Seal of the United States. (The first motto is Annuit cœptis, literally translated "[He/she/it] has favored our undertakings".) The Great Seal was first designed in 1782, and has been printed on the back of the United States one-dollar bill since 1935. The phrase Novus ordo seclorum is sometimes mistranslated as "New World Order" by people who believe in a conspiracy behind the design.

Parallels between Virgil's Aeneid and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey

When writing the Aeneid, Virgil (or Vergil) drew from his studies on the Homeric epics of the Iliad and the Odyssey to help him create a national epic poem for the Roman people. Virgil used several characteristics associated with epic poetry, more specifically Homer's epics, including the use of hexameter verse, book division, lists of genealogies and underlying themes to draw parallels between the Romans and their cultural predecessors, the Greeks.

Styx (band)

Styx is an American rock band from Chicago that formed in 1972 and became famous for its albums released in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They are best known for melding hard rock guitar balanced with acoustic guitar, synthesizers mixed with acoustic piano, upbeat tracks with power ballads, soft rock, and incorporating elements of international musical theatre. The band established itself with a progressive rock sound in the 1970s, and began to incorporate pop rock and soft rock elements in the 1980s.

Styx is best known for the hit songs "Lady", "Come Sail Away", "Babe", "Boat on the River", "Too Much Time on My Hands", "Renegade" “Show Me The Way” "Mr. Roboto", "Don't Let It End", "Blue Collar Man", "The Best of Times", "The Grand Illusion", "Fooling Yourself" and "Suite Madame Blue". Styx has had 4 consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA as well as 16 top 40 singles in the US, 8 of which hit the top 10. Of their 8 Top 10 singles, 7 were written and sung by founding member Dennis DeYoung, including their #1 chart topper, Babe.

United States fifty-dollar bill

The United States fifty-dollar bill ($50) is a denomination of United States currency. The 18th U.S. President (1869-77), Ulysses S. Grant, is featured on the obverse, while the U.S. Capitol is featured on the reverse. All current-issue $50 bills are Federal Reserve Notes.

As of December 2013, the average life of a $50 bill in circulation is 8.5 years, or approximately 102 months, before it is replaced due to wear. Approximately 6% of all notes printed in 2009 were $50 bills. They are delivered by Federal Reserve Banks in brown straps.

United States five-dollar bill

The United States five-dollar bill ($5) is a denomination of United States currency. The current $5 bill features the 16th U.S. President (1861-65), Abraham Lincoln's portrait on the front and the Lincoln Memorial on the back. All $5 bills issued today are Federal Reserve Notes.

The $5 bill is sometimes nicknamed a "fin". The term has German/Yiddish roots and is remotely related to the English "five", but it is far less common today than it was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing says the average life of a $5 bill in circulation is 5.5 years before it is replaced due to wear. Approximately 6% of all paper currency produced by the U.S. Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 2009 were $5 bills.

United States ten-dollar bill

The United States ten-dollar bill ($10) is a denomination of U.S. currency. The obverse of the bill features the portrait of Alexander Hamilton, who served as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. The reverse features the U.S. Treasury Building. All $10 bills issued today are Federal Reserve Notes.

As of December 2013, the average life of a $10 bill is 4.5 years, or about 54 months, before it is replaced due to wear. Ten-dollar bills are delivered by Federal Reserve Banks in yellow straps.

The source of the portrait on the $10 bill is John Trumbull's 1805 painting of Hamilton that belongs to the portrait collection of New York City Hall. The $10 bill is unique in that it is the only denomination in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. It also features one of two non-presidents on currently issued U.S. bills, the other being Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill. Hamilton is also the only person not born in the continental United States or British America (he was from the West Indies) currently depicted on U.S. paper currency; three others have been depicted in the past: Albert Gallatin, Switzerland ($500 1862/63 Legal Tender); George Meade, Spain ($1,000 1890/91 Treasury Note); and Robert Morris, England ($1,000 1862/63 Legal Tender; $10 1878/80 Silver Certificate).

In 2015, the Treasury Secretary announced that the obverse portrait of Hamilton would be replaced by the portrait of an as-yet-undecided woman, starting in 2020. However, this decision was reversed in 2016 due to the surging popularity of Hamilton, a hit Broadway musical based on Hamilton's life.

United States two-dollar bill

The United States two-dollar bill ($2) is a current denomination of U.S. currency. The portrait of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States (1801–09), is featured on the obverse of the note. The reverse features an engraving of the painting Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull.

Throughout the $2 bill's pre-1929 life as a large-sized note, it was issued as a United States Note, National Bank Note, silver certificate, Treasury or "Coin" Note and Federal Reserve Bank Note. When U.S. currency was changed to its current size, the $2 bill was issued only as a United States Note. Production went on until 1966, when the series was discontinued. Ten years passed before the $2 bill was reissued as a Federal Reserve Note with a new reverse design that commemorated the United States Declaration of Independence.

As a result of banking policies with businesses which have resulted in low production numbers due to lack of demand, two-dollar bills do not circulate as well as other denominations of U.S. currency. This comparative scarcity in circulation, coupled with a lack of public knowledge that the bill is still in production and circulation, has also inspired urban legends about its authenticity and value and has occasionally created problems for those trying to use the bill to make purchases.

Vergilius Vaticanus

The Vergilius Vaticanus or Vatican Virgil (Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Cod. Vat. lat. 3225) is a Late Antique illuminated manuscript containing, in its form today, fragments of Virgil's Aeneid and Georgics. It was made in Rome in about 400 A.D., and is one of the oldest surviving sources for the text of the Aeneid and is the oldest and one of only three ancient illustrated manuscripts of classical literature. The two other surviving illustrated manuscripts of classical literature are the Vergilius Romanus and the Ambrosian Iliad.

There are 76 surviving leaves in the manuscript with 50 illustrations. If, as was common practice at the time, the manuscript contained all of the canonical works of Virgil, the manuscript would originally had about 440 leaves and 280 illustrations. The text was written by a single scribe in rustic capitals. As was common at the time, there is no separation between words. The scribe worked first leaving spaces for the illustrations. The illustrations were added by three different painters, all of whom used iconographic copybooks. The illustrations are contained within frames and include landscapes and architectural and other details. The miniatures are set within the text column, although a few miniatures occupy a full page. The human figures are painted in classical style with natural proportions and drawn with vivacity. The illustrations often convey the illusion of depth quite well. The gray ground of the landscapes blend into bands of rose, violet, or blue to give the impression of a hazy distance. The interior scenes are based on earlier understanding of perspective, but occasional errors suggest that the artists did not fully understand the models used. The style of these miniatures has much in common with the surviving miniatures of the Quedlinburg Itala fragment and have also been compared to the frescos found at Pompeii.

The manuscript was probably made for a pagan noble. Annotations in the manuscript indicate it was in Italy until the 7th century and in Tours in the second quarter of the 9th century. A French scribe made further notes around 1400. Later it reached Rome, and belonged to collectors including Pietro Bembo and Fulvio Orsini, who bequeathed it to the Vatican Library in 1600.The Vergilius Vaticanus is not to be confused with the Vergilius Romanus (Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica, Cod. Vat. lat. 3867) or the unillustrated Vergilius Augusteus, two other ancient Vergilian manuscripts in the Biblioteca Apostolica.

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