Latin/Latin Help



I got your recent email,Thanks. I almost have it figured it out:

So you wrote:

“Ex adversis rebus fortitudo” (literally, “Strength FROM adversities” and then also “Strength THROUGH adversities”).

And looking at some past responses, it appears the same way of expressing this phrase is also:

"Fortitudo ex adversitate" (which will also mean==>“Strength FROM adversities” and also “Strength THROUGH adversities”)?

Is this correct?  I am about 50% sure on this one.

If not, is there a shorter version of “Ex adversis rebus fortitudo”?


[SIDE NOTE: "Ex rebus adversis fortitudo" seems to have a different meaning from “Ex adversis rebus fortitudo”]

  "Ex rebus adversis fortitudo" means==>just strength FROM adversity

       "Ex adversis rebus fortitudo" means==> As you've stated: “Strength FROM adversities” and then also “Strength THROUGH adversities”


David Miller



I have to confirm that the Latin sentences “Ex adversis rebus fortitudo”,  "Ex rebus adversis fortitudo “ and "Fortitudo ex adversitate" mean “Strength from adversities” and then also “Strength through adversities”, as they all express the concept that one can achieve  strength from & through adversities/adversity so that one becomes strong in enduring adversities and facing with any unlucky situation or event, as I’ve already written in my past answers.

As for what you say about  "Ex rebus adversis fortitudo"(=Strength from adversity)  that seems to have a different meaning from “Ex adversis rebus fortitudo” (Strength from adversities” and then also “Strength through adversities”), please note that:

1- both "adversity" and its plural "adversities" correspond to "rebus adversis", "adversis rebus" and "adversitate".

2- the only one difference between these  Latin sentences is  a different word order (“adversis rebus “ instead of “rebus adversis”) that in Latin can be variable, as I have said in my previous answer where I wrote that Latin word order can be variable as Latin is an inflected language where grammatical/syntactical relationships are indicated by the  endings of each term, not by the order of the words.

Therefore the adjective “adversis” (ablative plural of the adjective “adversus”) can be placed before “rebus” as well as after “rebus” (ablative plural of the 5th declension noun RES) simply because Latin expresses the relation of words to each other by inflection rather than by position.
Hence its structure  admits  a great variety in the arrangement of words, according to what you want to emphasize.

In short, word order in Latin differs from languages like English because a reader or listener who knows Latin grammar  and syntax can  easily discern the case of a word or the mood and tense of a verb.
Therefore it is not necessary to adhere to a strictly defined order.

For example, the meaning of "Man bites dog, and "Dog bites man" is determined by the word order, of course, while in Latin you can say :“Canis virum mordet”, “Virum mordet canis”, “Mordet canis virum” (all meaning “Dog bites man”), since “virum” (=man) is always an accusative case, i.e. a direct object; “mordet” (=bites) is always the 3rd.person singular,present indicative of the verb “mordeo” and finally “canis” (=dog) must be a nominative case, i.e. the subject of the sentence.

Hope this can be helpful to you.

Best regards,



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