Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi

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Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi is a Latin phrase, literally "What is permissible for Jupiter is not permissible for a cow". The locus classicus (origin) for the phrase is the novella Memoirs of a Good-for-Nothing (1826) by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff, although it is not entirely clear that Eichendorff coined the phrase himself. In his play Heauton Timorumenos,[1] Terence, a playwright of the Roman Republic, coined a similar phrase, Aliis si licet, tibi non licet ("to others it is permitted; to you it is not permitted").

The phrase is often translated as "Gods may do what cattle may not". It indicates the existence of a double standard (justifiable or otherwise), and essentially means "what is permitted to one important person or group, is not permitted to everyone."[2]

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  1. ^ "Terence: Heauton Timorumenos". Retrieved 2016-06-07.
  2. ^ Danny J. Boggs. Challenges to the Rule of Law: Or, Quod Licet Jovi Non Licet Bovi. Cato Institute. pp. 7–18. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)