Homo homini lupus
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Homo homini lupus est is a Latin phrase meaning "man is a wolf to [his fellow] man." First attested in Plautus' Asinaria (195 BC, "lupus est homo homini"), the phrase is sometimes translated as "man is man's wolf", which can be interpreted to mean that man preys upon man. It is widely referenced when discussing the horrors of which humans are capable.
As an opposition, Seneca wrote that "man is something sacred for man." Both aphorisms were drawn on by Thomas Hobbes in the dedication of his work De Cive (1651): "To speak impartially, both sayings are very true; That Man to Man is a kind of God; and that Man to Man is an errant Wolfe. The first is true, if we compare Citizens amongst themselves; and the second, if we compare Cities." Hobbes's observation in turn echoes a line from Plautus claiming that man is inherently selfish.
As a tattoo, this indicates a particularly violent or brutal prisoner.
Notable citations 
- Erasmus discusses Plautus' use of the phrase in Adagia first published in 1500.
- In chapter 13, "Opposite the House of the Caryatids" of Doctor Zhivago (1957) by Boris Pasternak, the narrator remarks, of the scenes and events witnessed by Zhivago during his escape on foot from the partisans late in Russia's post-revolutionary civil war: "Those days justified the ancient saying that 'man is a wolf to man'."
- Founding assumption in Sigmund Freud's 1929 Civilization and Its Discontents
- The title of a 1999 album by the Italian band La Locanda delle Fate.
- The title of an Italian short movie directed by Matteo Rovere in 2006.
- Used ironically in Voltaire's Candide to argue against the philosophy of optimism.
- The English title of the memoir Man Is Wolf to Man by Janusz Bardach is a translation of Homo homini lupus. An unrelated movie of the same name, created by the Santana Brothers, is in post-production as of August 2010[update].
- In Terry Pratchett's Fifth Elephant, 'Homo homini lupus' is the motto of a family of werewolves.
- 'Homo Homini Lupus' is the title of Episode 14, Season 1 of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
- Hilary Mantel in part 6, chapter I of her novel, Wolf Hall, has Thomas Cromwell recalling the phrase whilst reflecting on the Duke of Norfolk's hounding of Cardinal Wolsey.
- In the movie Fists in the Pocket, a movie by Marco Bellocchio, there's a man chatting with a girl in a nightclub who's trying to explain this phrase to her.
- In book 16 of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, The Wine-Dark Sea, parson Nathanial Martin uses the phrase in comment on his shipmates who have become cheerfully avaricious at the potential of more treasure to be taken from enemy ships.
In the book A Woman in Berlin, the author quotes this sentence. In the trilogy on The Passion by Klaas Schilders (volume 'Christ Crucified' page 211.