Understanding The Bible
Glossary of Latin (and other) Terms


a priori reasoning from causes to effects; deductive; logically independent of experience; not derived from experience; assumed without investigation. From the Latin, "from what is before"; hence, "as far as one knows".
Ad hoc Designed for that purpose; specially.
ad valorem "in proportion to value". An import duty fixed ad valorem is one established on the basis of the commercial value of the imported item.
adscripti glebae being tied to the soil; a serf
agent provocateur person employed to detect suspected offenders by tempting them into open action.
bona fide in good faith; honestly; sincerely; without deception
de facto in fact; in reality; often also, in all but name
et seq. (sequitur) literally, "and the following";
ex officio by virtue of one's office
Fait accompli Literally, "an accomplished fact".
Habeas Corpus literally, "you may have the body". A Habeas Corpus is a legal writ that protects an individual against arbitrary imprisonment by requiring that any person arrested be brought before a court for formal charge. If the charge is considered to be valid, the person must submit to trial; if not, the person goes free. When the law is suspended, then individuals can be imprisoned indefinitely and without charge.
Laissez faire Literally, "leave things alone". This phrase is used to describe a variety of government policies but at this time was used to mean that the government should not interfere in the economy of the country.
Latitudinarian broad-based: a term applied to the Church of England's attempt to frame a set of beliefs that would allow a wide range of denominations to subscribe to the Anglican faith
Libel published statement damaging to a person's reputation; accuse falsely and maliciously.
quinquennial Every five years
nolentes aut volentes whether willing or not (willy-nilly)
oligarchy a state or country ruled by a very few people
per capita literally "by the head"; for each person; individually
per saltum effectively "in one fell swoop"; all at once.
Per se By, or in, itself; intrinsically; as such.
philanthropist A "lover of mankind"; one who exerts himself for the well-being of his fellow man.
Prima facie (arising) at first sight, based on the first impression
primogeniture The law of the first-born. Under this law, the eldest son inherits everything on the death of his father.
qui pro quo qui pro quo referred to any copying mistake made by a scribe
quid pro quo something for something - nothing in life is free.

Quid pro quo (Latin for "something for something") indicates a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services. English
speakers often use the term to mean, "a favor for a favor," and the phrases, "what for what", "give and take" and "tit for tat" have similar

In legal usage, quid pro quo indicates that an item or a favor has been traded in return for something of value, usually when the propriety or equity
of the transaction is in question. For example, under the common law, a binding contract must involve consideration: that is, the exchange of
something of value for something of economic value. If the exchange appears excessively one sided, the court may question whether a quid pro quo
exists and the contract may be voidable.

sic "thus" - roughly translated "I know that the spelling is wrong, but that was how it appeared in the source".
sinecure any job or post that carries a salary but has either very little, or no work attached to it.
Sine qua non Indispensable condition or qualification; a pre-condition
Status quo The previous situation of affairs; an unchanged position.
Status quo ante bellum the situation as it was before the war (usually meaning the French Wars, in this web site)
treason violation by subject of his allegiance to sovereign e.g. compassing or intending sovereignís death, levying war against him or adhering to his enemies.
Une condition sine qua non means "a condition without which what you describe is impossible".
Verbatim et liberatim word-for-word and freely (extensively)
via media literally "the middle way", usually applied to the Church of England [Anglican Church] which sought to be so broad-based (latitudinarian) that it encompassed almost all Christian beliefs other than those of the Catholic Church and the extreme Protestants such as Anabaptists and Unitarians
videlicit namely; "it is permitted to see"; "to wit". Commonly abbreviated to viz.
viz namely; like this.