In hoc signo vinces
"In hoc signo vinces" (Classical Latin: [ɪn hoːk ˈsɪŋnoː ˈwɪŋkeːs]; Ecclesiastical Latin: [in ɔk ˈsiɲɲo ˈvintʃes]) is a Latin phrase conventionally translated into English as "In this sign thou shalt conquer".
The Latin phrase itself renders, rather loosely, the Greek phrase "ἐν τούτῳ νίκα", transliterated as "en toútōi níka" (Ancient Greek: [en tóːtɔ͜ːi níːkaː], Greek pronunciation: [en ˈtuto ˈnika]), literally meaning "in this, conquer".
Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius was an early Christian author (c. 240 – c. 320) who became an advisor to the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine I (and tutor to his son), guiding the Emperor's religious policy as it developed during his reign. His work De Mortibus Persecutorum has an apologetic character, but has been treated as a work of history by Christian writers. Here Lactantius preserves the story of Constantine's vision of the Chi Rho before his conversion to Christianity. The full text is found in only one manuscript, which bears the title, Lucii Caecilii liber ad Donatum Confessorem de Mortibus Persecutorum.
The historian bishop Eusebius of Caesaria states that Constantine was marching with his army (Eusebius does not specify the actual location of the event, but it is clearly not in the camp at Rome), when he looked up to the sun and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words "(ἐν) τούτῳ νίκα" ("In this, conquer"), a phrase often rendered into Latin as in hoc signo vinces ("in this sign, you will conquer").
At first, Constantine did not know the meaning of the apparition, but on the following night, he had a dream in which Christ explained to him that he should use the sign of the cross against his enemies. Eusebius then continues to describe the Labarum, the military standard used by Constantine in his later wars against Licinius, showing the Chi-Rho sign. The accounts by Lactantius and Eusebius, though not entirely consistent, have been connected to the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312 AD), having merged into a popular notion of Constantine seeing the Chi-Rho sign on the evening before the battle.
The phrase appears prominently placed as a motto on a ribbon unfurled with a passion cross to its left, beneath a window over the Scala Regia, adjacent to the equestrian statue of Emperor Constantine, in the Vatican. Emperors and other monarchs, having paid respects to the Pope, descended the Scala Regia, and would observe the light shining down through the window, with the motto, reminiscent of Constantine's vision, and be reminded to follow the Cross. They would thence turn right into the atrium of St. Peter's Basilica, ostensibly so inspired.
- Coat of Arms of the Russian Government. 1919 (Old Church Slavonic "Си́мъ побѣди́ши", Russian "Этим побеждай"), see White movement
- Inscribed on the Colours of the Irish Brigade.
- Inscribed on the banner and the motto of the 4th Guards Brigade (now 2nd Motorized Battalion "Pauci" - the Spiders) of the Croatian army
- Inscribed on the banner of the Sanfedismo in 1799
- Inscribed in Greek on the flag (obverse side) of the Sacred Band of the Greek War of Independence
- Inscribed in Greek on the coat of arms, insignia and flag of the 22nd Tank Brigade (XXII ΤΘΤ) of the Greek Army
- The motto of 814 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm.
- The motto of the Mauritius National Coast Guard
- The motto of U.S. Marine Aircraft Squadron VMA(AW)533
- The motto of Finnish Defence Force Reconnaissance
- The motto of the Norwegian army 2nd Battalion (Norway)
- The motto of USS Waldron
- The motto of HMCS Crusader, and the Sea Cadet Corps with her as the namesake, 25 RCSCC Crusader in Winnipeg.
- Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George
- In the logo of Knights Templar, Grand Encampment, U.S.A.
- Public motto of the Sigma Chi international fraternity.
- Is the motto on the Coat of arms of the Vlaamse Verdedigings Liga, a right wing political organisation.
- It is the public motto of the English Defence League, emblazoned around the group's logo.
In hoc signo vinces is the motto of:
- Bishop Simon Brute College Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana USA
- College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
- Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, Tbilisi, Georgia
- Hardey Preparatory School for Boys, Chicago, Illinois USA
- Holy Cross College, Arima, Trinidad
- Holy Cross College, Kalutara, Sri Lanka
- Holy Cross College of Carigara, Carigara, Leyte, Republic of the Philippines
- Holy Cross High School, Camp Phillips, Bukidnon, Republic of the Philippines[circular reference]
- Holy Cross School, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
- Instituto Tecnológico de Mérida, Mérida, Mexico
- Madras Christian College, Madras, India
- Marist Brothers High School, Fiji Suva city
- http://new.trinity.edu.gh/, Legon Ghana
- Quitman High School, Quitman, Louisiana USA
- St. Eunan's College, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland
- St. Joseph's Grammar School, Donaghmore, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
- St. Michael's Church School, Christchurch, New Zealand
- St. Thomas' Secondary School,Kano,Nigeria
- Strangford Integrated College, Carrowdore, County Down, Northern Ireland
- Wah Yan College, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
- Wah Yan College Kowloon, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong
- Crest of the Royal Hockey Club, Antwerp, Belgium
- Motto of the Carlstad Crusaders, Sweden's dominant American Football team in Karlstad, Sweden
- Motto of Ponsonby Rugby Club, Auckland, New Zealand http://www.ponsonbyrugby.co.nz/
- The phrase is the motto on some Byzantine coins (e.g. the folles of Constans II).
- Used as the title of the political manifesto of George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party.
- Is the motto on the coat of arms of the city of Plzeň, Czech Republic.
- The phrase is in the coat of arms of the city of Birkirkara, the largest city on the island of Malta, and the city of Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
- Is the motto on the Coat of Arms of O'Donnell
- Appears in one of the paintings of the Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński.
- It has been used in some versions of logo for the brand of cigarettes, Pall Mall.
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- Eusebius. "1.28". Vita Constantini (PDF). www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu. p. 944.
- Haaren, John H.; Poland, A. B. (2006) . Famous Men of Rome. Yesterday's Classics. p. 229. ISBN 978-159915-046-8.
- Eusebius, Vita Constantini 1.31, p. 946.
- Chadwick, Owen. 1981. The Popes and European Revolution. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-826919-6. p. 474.
- Helene P. Kokkone; Katerina Korre-Zographou; Chrysa Daskalopoulou (1997). Ελληνικές Σημαίες, Σήματα, Εμβλήματα (in Greek). Athens: G. Tsiberiotes. ISBN 960-7795-01-6.
- "Εμβλήματα: XXII ΤΘΤ" (in Greek). Hellenic Army General Staff.
- former marine=John L Huber=year1971
- "Sigma Chi Crest".
- Elliott, Andrew B. R. (2017). Medievalism, Politics and Mass Media: Appropriating the Middle Ages in the Twenty-First Century. Medievalism Volume 10. Woodbridge: Boydell. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-84384-463-1.
- "College Seal". College of the Holy Cross. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
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- Holy Cross High School, Philips, Bukidnon
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- [www.itmerida.edu.mx]. "Instituto Tecnologico de Merida".
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- "SaintEunans - We Lead The Way".
- "Home - St Joseph's Grammar School, Donaghmore".
- "Welcome to Strangford Integrated College - Strangford Integrated College". Strangford Integrated College. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
- "Wah Yan College Kowloon".
- Thys, Wilm. ":: KHC Dragons ::".
- "Carlstad Crusaders AFC - Amerikansk Fotboll".
- Grierson, Philip (1982). Byzantine Coins. University of California Press. p. 111. ISBN 0-520-04897-0.
- "Story of Coat of Arms". 24 November 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- "Zdzisław Beksiński: x11". art.vniz.net. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
- "Pall Mall Example". Retrieved 30 November 2017.
- Chris Harrald et al. The Cigarette Book: The History and Culture of Smoking
- Eusebius. "1.28". Βίος Κωνσταντίνου [Vita Constantini] (in Greek). At the Internet Archive.
- Eusebius. "1.28". Eusebius - Constantine and the sign of the cross. www.earlychurchtexts.com (in Greek). Passages 1.26-31 of Vita Constantini.
- Eusebius. "1.28". Vita Constantini (PDF). www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu (in Latin). Book 1. p. 7 (21–22 on scanned book).
- Lactantius. "Lucii Caecilii liber ad Donatum Confessorem de Mortibus Persecutorum". www.thelatinlibrary.com (in Latin).