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Latin/College Motto Translation


My alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), in Troy, NY has a motto:

Knowledge and Thoroughness

A brief history about the evolution and meaning behind this motto is available here:

I’d like that motto translated to Latin. Some Latin words can be used interchangeably depending upon context so if there are more than one ways to translate it I’d like to know my options.

For example, I have seen the word Knowledge expressed as scientia, erudito, peritia, cognitio, doctrina

Thoroughness I have been given options by various automated translation tools including pernosco, pernotus, Intentus, pernovi, pernoscere, diligentiaque and diligentissime.

One translation of the whole thing by an online tool came out as:
scientia et diligentia demonstrabunt

I don't know what to believe as grammatically accurate but I believe in you!

Thank you.



I think that the best translations for the motto “Knowledge and Thoroughness”  are the following:

-“Scientia cognitioque atque absolutio perfectioque”
-“Rerum cognitio atque absolutio perfectioque”.

Please note that I’ve used some terms we read in Cicero, as you can see below in my grammatical analysis.

As for various automated translation tools for “Thoroughness” including “pernosco, pernotus, Intentus, pernovi, pernoscere, diligentiaque and diligentissime”, I’m sorry, but they all are wrong, whereas  among the Latin nouns “scientia”, “eruditio”,” peritia”,  “cognitio”, “doctrina”,  the most appropriate translations for “knowledge” are “scientia” and “cognitio”, since “eruditio” and “doctrina” correspond to “erudition”/” learning”/ ”scholarship”, while “peritia” means “skilfulness” .

In short, the best terms to say “knowledge” are  “Rerum Cognitio “  and “Scientia cognitioque” used as a hendiadys, i.e. a figure of speech in which a single complex  idea is expressed by two words connected by a conjunction, while the best translation for "Thoroughness" is "absolutio perfectioque", i.e. another hendiadys that expresses the complex concept of thoroughness.

Lastly, with regard to "Scientia et diligentia demonstrabunt" as a  translation of the whole thing by an online tool, it is absolutely wrong as it would mean "Science and diligence will show" that makes no sense not only because there is not a direct object requested by the future indicative, 3rd.person plural "demonstrabunt" meaning "will show" (what?), but also because "Science and diligence will show" does not correspond at all to the motto “Knowledge and Thoroughness”.

Hope I made myself understood. Feel free however to ask me again, should you have other queries.

Best regards,

Note that:

-Knowledge = RERUM COGNITIO (composed of the genitive plural RERUM [=of things] + the nominative case COGNITIO [=knowledge]) or SCIENTIA COGNITIOQUE (composed of the nominative cases SCIENTIA, 1st.declension noun, and “COGNITIO, 3rd.declension noun, joined by the enclitic –QUE= and). This is a hendiadys, i.e.  a figure of speech in which a single complex idea is expressed by two words connected by a conjunction, so that SCIENTIA meaning “science, skill, expertness” is joined to COGNITIO meaning “knowledge” as a consequence of perception or of the exercise of our mental powers, just to express the true sense of the English word “knowledge “ in this context.

-and = ATQUE

-Thoroughness =ABSOLUTIO PERFECTIOQUE (composed of the nominative cases ABSOLUTIO, 3rd.declension noun, and PERFECTIO, 3rd.declension noun, joined by the enclitic –QUE). This is another hendiadys we read in Cicero,  De Oratore (On the Orator ),book 1, chapter 130 .
See :
P.S. Sorry, but there was a system error that has rejected the question,  beyond my control.


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