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?
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.
-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