inter arma enim silent leges

in a time of war, the law falls silent

Notes

Said by Cicero in Pro Milone as a protest against unchecked political mobs that had virtually seized control of Rome in the 60s and 50s BC. Famously quoted in the essay Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau as "The clatter of arms drowns out the voice of the law". This phrase has also been jokingly translated as "In a time of arms, the legs are silent."

Words

  • interabout, approximately, around, roughly
  • armaarmaments, arms, weapons
  • enimfor, in fact, indeed, truly