You are here:

Latin/Family Crest Motto


At a recent family reunion, an uncle showed us a drawing of our family crest from several hundred years ago, which displayed the motto: "Virescit Vulnere Virtus".  It doesn't make sense when translated to English word for word.  Can you tell me what it means?
Thank you.


the motto “Virescit Vulnere Virtus”, which is a quotation from the ancient Roman poet Aulus Furius Antias and literally means “Bravery flourishes by means of a wound”, that is to say:” Courage  grows  through  the wounds”, wants to point out that  courage becomes greater through a wound, since we  cannot know how far our courage goes, if we do not fight and we are therefore  wounded  in action.

In short, a wound (both in the literal and figurative sense ) serves as evidence of the state of mind that enables us to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes of life bravely.

So, such a  motto encourages to fight a good fight, without any fear since any injury makes us stronger.

As for Aulus Furius of Antium, we know that  he was the poet  whose friendship with Quintus Lutatius Catulus, consul in 102 BC, is attested by Cicero (Brutus, ch. 35).
Also, we read his phrase “Virescit vulnere virtus” in Gellius, Noctes Atticae (Attic Nights),book 18,chapter 11 that is a mid-second century AD compilation of notes on many  subjects  preserving fragments of many authors who otherwise would be unknown today.

Hope this can be helpful to you.

Best regards,
Note that:

-Virescit (3rd.person singular, present indicative of  VIRESCO) = grows / flourishes

-vulnere (ablative singular of VULNUS, 3rd.declension)= through/by means of  the wound

-virtus (subject in the nominative, 3rd.declension) = courage /bravery


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2017 All rights reserved.