Esse quam videri

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Esse quam videri is a Latin phrase meaning "To be, rather than to seem" (to be). It has been used as a motto by a number of different groups.

History[edit]

Esse quam videri is found in Cicero's essay On Friendship (Laelius de Amicitia, chapter 98). Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt ("Few are those who wish to be endowed with virtue rather than to seem so").

Just a few years after Cicero, Sallust used the phrase in his Bellum Catilinae (54.6), writing that Cato the Younger esse quam videri bonus malebat ("He preferred to be good rather than to seem so").

Previous to both Romans, Aeschylus used a similar phrase in Seven Against Thebes at line 592, at which the scout (angelos) says of the seer/priest Amphiaraus: οὐ γὰρ δοκεῖν ἄριστος, ἀλλ᾽ εἶναι θέλει (ou gàr dokeîn áristos, all' eînai thélei: "he doesn't want to seem, but to be the bravest"). Plato quoted this line in Republic (361b).

Niccolò Machiavelli reversed the phrase to videri quam esse (to seem rather than to be).[1]

Usage as a motto[edit]

North Carolina[edit]

Great Seal of North Carolina with the state motto esse quam videri.

Esse quam videri is the state motto of North Carolina, adopted in 1893.[citation needed]

Schools and colleges[edit]

Esse quam videri is (or was) the motto of a number of schools and colleges around the world, including:

Sororities[edit]

Esse quam videri is the motto of the following sororities:

Fraternities[edit]

Esse quam videri is the motto of the following fraternities:

Sporting organisations[edit]

  • Kingswood Rugby Football Club, Bristol, UK, use a variant of the motto, "Esse Non Videri" as their club motto.[24]
  • White Wolves MC,[25] Oradea, RO, use a variant of the motto, "Esse Quam Videri Malim" as their club motto.

Companies[edit]

Other organizations[edit]

Esse quam videri is also the motto of

Popular culture[edit]

Television personality Stephen Colbert inverted the statement on his show The Colbert Report to Videri Quam Esse,[31] meaning "to seem to be rather than to be." It is also engraved across the faux hearth, above the video fireplace, in his studio, under his portrait.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Virginia Gamba (February 20, 2013). "REMARKS UPON THE LAUNCH OF FIVE MYTHS ABOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS, A BOOK BY WARD WILSON" (PDF). U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs. 
  2. ^ "home". Connellspt-p.schools.nsw.edu.au. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  3. ^ "desertheightsprep.org". desertheightsprep.org. 2003-03-01. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  4. ^ "Darwin_High_School". Schools.nt.edu.au. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  5. ^ "esquimalt.sd61.bc.ca". esquimalt.sd61.bc.ca. 2010-08-27. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  6. ^ "Home". Hemel Hempstead School. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived November 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ http://www.lanecollege.edu/lanepages.asp?V_menu=01&p_num=05
  9. ^ "The motto of the University is Esse Quam Videri ...." "Bulletin, National University of Health Sciences" (PDF). Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Pages - Welcome!". Stm.nbed.nb.ca. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  11. ^ "Seton Hall High School". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  12. ^ "essequamvideri.co.uk". essequamvideri.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  13. ^ "Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy". Tjca.org. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  14. ^ "truroschool.com". truroschool.com. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  15. ^ vdevoto.esc.edu.ar
  16. ^ "Woodward Career Technical High School Official Web Site". Cincinnati Public Schools. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  17. ^ "wyoarea.org". wyoarea.org. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  18. ^ "Old Yeovilians' Association Home Page". Oldyeovilians.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-12. [dead link]
  19. ^ "dphie.org". dphie.org. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  20. ^ "tkc.edu". tkc.edu. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  21. ^ "phideltaalpha.com". phideltaalpha.com. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  22. ^ "Alpha Chi Lambda". San Antonio: Trinity University. Retrieved 2012-07-04. 
  23. ^ "lks.org". lks.org. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  24. ^ Burt, Martyn. "kingswoodrfc.co.uk". kingswoodrfc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  25. ^ whitewolvesmcromania.ro
  26. ^ swire.com
  27. ^ "eqv.co.uk". eqv.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-09-29. 
  28. ^ "nhmss.org". nhmss.org. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  29. ^ "Carolina Wilderness EMS Externship - Official Home Page". Blueridgehealth.org. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  30. ^ "Men's Chorus Philosophy: Esse Quam Videri". Brigham Young University. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  31. ^ "Stephen Colbert's new Latin motto". http://talkshownews.interbridge.com. 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2014-12-31.  External link in |website= (help)