In hoc signo vinces


In hoc signo vinces

In hoc signo vinces is the rendition in Latin of the Greek phrase "εν τούτω νίκα", "en toutōi nika", meaning "in this [sign] you will conquer".

According to legend, Constantine I adopted this Greek phrase, "εν τούτω νίκα", as a motto after his vision of a chi rho on the sky just before the Battle of Milvian Bridge against Maxentius in the year 312. The early Christian symbol consists in a cross formed by the Greek letters chi (X) and rho (P), the first two in the name Christ (Greek: Χριστός). The historian Eusebius states that Constantine was marching with his army (Eusebius doesn't specify the actual location of the event, but it's clearly not in the camp at Rome), when he looked up to the sun and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words "εν τούτω νίκα" ("by this, be victorious!", often rendered in Latin as "In hoc signo vinces"). At first, Constantine didn't know the meaning of the apparition, but in the following night, he had a dream in which Christ explained to him that he should use the sign against his enemies. Eusebius then continues to describe the Labarum, the military standard used by Constantine in his later wars against Licinius, showing the Chi-Rho sign.

The phrase is the motto on the coat of arms borne by Jan III Sobieski and other members of the Sobieski line; it is also on the coat of arms of the Irish noble dynasty of O'Donnell of Tyrconnell, and is the motto of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. The phrase also appears prominently placed as a motto on a ribbon unfurled with a passion cross to its left, beneath a window over the Scala Regia, adjacent to the equestrian statue of Emperor Constantine, in the Vatican. Emperors and other monarchs, having paid respects to the Pope, descended the Scala Regia, and would observe the light shining down through the window, with the motto, reminiscent of Constantine's vision, and be reminded to follow the Cross. They would thence turn right into the atrium of St. Peter's Basilica, ostensibly so inspired.IT is also the motto of the Taylor clan

It was also used as a motto by the Portuguese monarchy. According to the legend, King Afonso Henriques saw the sign of the "quinas" -Portugal's heraldic symbol- at the battle of Ourique, adopting them as the national symbol and the motto as a consequence. This legend is told in "The Lusiadas" by Luiz Vaz de Camoes.

This phrase was also in use by and of some significance to the Knights Templar, and also plays a role in many modern fraternal orders and secret societies including the Free Masons and the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Cultural references

Fraternal organizations

* Public motto of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
* Motto of the Royal Black Institution.
* Appears on the Knight Templar Cross in the York Rite branch of Freemasonry.
* Motto of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, The "Grey Nuns of Montreal".

chools

* Motto of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.
* Motto of the Wah Yan College, Hong Kong and Wah Yan College, Kowloon, two Jesuit-run secondary schools in Hong Kong.
* Appears on the crest of Madras Christian College of Chennai, India.
* Motto of Iona College in Brisbane, Australia.
* Appears on the crest of St. Eunan's College of Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland
* Motto of Waverley Christian College, Victoria, Australia
* Motto of Marist Brothers High School (Fiji)
* Motto of Sacred Heart R.C. Secondary School, London, England
* Motto of Pope John Paul II High School, Hendersonville, Tennessee
* Motto of Holyrood R.C. Secondary School, Glasgow, Scotland
* Motto of Santa Clara High School, Oxnard, CA, USA
* Motto of Quitman High School, Quitman, LA USA http://jpsb.us/Quitman.htm
* Motto of Instituto Tecnologico de Merida, Merida, Mexico http://www.itmerida.mx
* Motto of St Michaels, Christchurch, Primary and secondary ,New Zealand
* Motto of Holy Cross College, Arima, Trinidad, W.I. [http://www.hccaab.org/index.htm]

Military

* Inscribed on the banner of the Sanfedismo in 1799 [Chadwick, Owen. 1981. The Popes and European Revolution. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198269196. p. 474.]
* Motto of the Royal Army Chaplains Department
* Appears on the patches of Marine All-Weather Fighter-Attack Squadron 533.
* Seen on the coat of arms of the second mechanized infantry battalion, Norwegian Army.
* Motto of 814th Squadron of the British Fleet Air Arm.
* Motto of 7th Scout Ranger Company, Philippine Army

ports

* Crest of the Royal Hockey Club [http://www.dragons.be Dragons] , Antwerp, Belgium
* Motto of Birkirkara, Malta.
* Motto of the Norwegian soccer-team Storkanonan.
* Motto of the Ipswich Brothers Rugby League club, Qld Australia
* Motto of Worthing Chippingdale Cricket Club, England
* Motto of Pirita Jalgpalliklubi Reliikvia soccer team, Estonia
* Motto of TEAM C.A.P.A. (Cavite Alabang Paranaque Airsofters) An active airsoft team in the Philippines.

Pop culture

* The band Deadsy adopted this saying as their band manifesto.
* Appears on the crest of Pall Mall cigarettes.
* Appears in "Postal²", accompanying a dollar symbol, on a statue, in front of the "Fee of America" building.
* Appears in the TV series "Carnivàle", as the inscription on the Masonic temple
* Mentioned by hiphop artist Ras Kass in the song "Nature of the Threat"
* Motto appears in painting from 1974 by Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński.
* In the comic Piranha Club, the eponymous Piranha Club has the motto "In hoc signo piranha".
* Also appears on the cover of the comic Daredevil issue #109.
* Appears in Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow as graffiti written by one of Cpt. Blicero's crew, p. 102

Other

* George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party, wrote a political manifesto called "In hoc signo vinces" in 1960.
* Appears on the crest of the "O'Donnell" clan.
* Appears in the swedish movie, Arn The Knight Templar (original titel: Tempelridderen Arn)
* Also appears in the books written by Jan Guillou, about the swedish knight tempelar Arn Magnusson.
* Appears on pack of Pall Mall cigarettes.

Notes

References

* [http://service.gmx.net/de/cgi/derefer?TYPE=3&DEST=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.documentacatholicaomnia.eu%2F02g%2F0265-0339%2C_Eusebius_Caesariensis%2C_Vita_Constantini%2C_MGR.pdf Euseb, Vita Constantini 1,28 (§§ 397-398)]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hōc signo vinces — Hōc signo vinces, s. In hoc signo vinces …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Hoc signo vinces — oder In hoc signo vinces (lat.), in diesem Zeichen wirst du siegen, Inschrift, die Konstantin d. Gr. beim Auszug zum Kampfe gegen Maxentius neben dem Bilde des Kreuzes am Himmel erschienen sein soll …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • hoc signo vinces — hoc si|gno* vin|ces [ ho:k vintsɛs] vgl. ↑in hoc signo vinces …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • In hoc signo vinces — es una traducción en latín de la frase griega ἐν τούτῳ νίκα , en toutōi nika, que significa con esto como estandarte vencerás . Según la leyenda, Constantino I adoptó esta frase griega , εν τούτῳ νίκα , como lema después de su visión de un… …   Wikipedia Español

  • In hoc signo vinces — Labarum „in hoc signo vinces“ (deutsch: „In diesem Zeichen wirst du siegen“) ist eine lateinische Redewendung. Sie bezieht sich auf den Sieg Konstantins des Großen gegen seinen Rivalen Maxentius im Jahr 312 in der Schlacht bei der Milvischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • In hoc signo vinces — (lat.), s. Hoc signo vinces …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • In hoc signo vinces — Portion de la toile La Vision de la Croix dépeignant la vision d une croix avant la bataille du pont Milvius. La locution en grec Ἐν τούτῳ νίκα apparaît à la droite du nuage …   Wikipédia en Français

  • In hoc signo vinces —   Der lateinische Spruch (deutsch: »In diesem Zeichen wirst du siegen.«) ist die inkorrekte Übersetzung der Inschrift eines Kreuzes, das nach der Legende Konstantin dem Großen vor der Entscheidungsschlacht gegen Maxentius im Jahr 312 erschien.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • in hoc signo vinces — лат. (ин хок сигно винцес) «сим победиши» перед судьбоносным сражением императору Константину (320 г.до н.э.) явился в полдень на небе крест и эти слова, которые обычно цитируют по латыни. Толковый словарь иностранных слов Л. П. Крысина. М:… …   Словарь иностранных слов русского языка

  • In hoc signo vinces — (lat., »in diesem Zeichen wirft du siegen«, abgekürzt I. H. S.; griech.: ἐν τούτω νίκα, die Inschrift, die nach Eusebios dem Kaiser Konstantin d. Gr., als er wider Maxentius zog, neben dem Bilde des Kreuzes am Himmel erschienen sein soll …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon