Damnum infectum

Unperformed damage. Between the Romans it referred to the possible or unperformed damage called damnum factum.

Damnum non facit qui jure suo utitur

The one who uses his right does not hurt anybody. Rule of roman law used in a straight sense.

Dare manus

Lay the hands, surrender; by way of fact, hand to hand combat.

Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas

Criticism is lenient with the ravens and severe with the doves. Poem of Decius Junius Juvenalis (58-138) which indicates that criticism points to the weak, but respects the ones who know how to defend themselves.

Date frenos

Loosen the reins.

Date obolum Belisario

Give charity to Belisarius. Tends to be used to exhort to help an honorable man confined to misery, as Belisarius (494-565) General of Justinian, general Byzantine, who fell in the misfortune of the Emperor Justinian and, according to a tradition completely removed of historic basis (V. Belisarius), was obliged to beg his food.

De aliquo, de aliqua re

On something, over a thing; take a resolution, or measures (above all tragic, cruel, etc.)

De aquí puede deducirse cuán desatinado anduvo Manuel Kant (1724-1804) al pretender envolver a la misma censura de tránsito ilegítimo los argumentos cosmológico y ontológico; en éste, como en general en todos los puntos en que critica la escolásti

De caelo delapsus

Lowered from the sky.

De conditione opificum

Worker status. Title enciclic of Pope Leon XIII of May 15th, 1891 where he develops the classical principle on social substance. It is also referred with the first two words of the Latin text: Rerum Novarum (Of new things).

De consilii sententia

In conformity with the opinion of the council.

De ejus adventu nondum eram edoctus

Of his entry I was still not informed.

De finibus bonorum et motorum

About the purposes of the properties and the movements. Name of a philosophical play of Cicero.

De finibus suis exierunt

Left their territory.

De hac re inter nos (o mihi tecum) convenit

We are consistent with this.

De integro


De meridie

After midday.

De montibus umbrae

The shadows of the hills.

De omni re scibili, et de quibusdam aliis

Of all the things that can be known, and even of many others. De omni re scibili was the motto of the famous John Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494), who boasted of giving a answer to everything being asked, no matter the difficulty of the question; et de quibusdam aliis is an addition of Francois Marie Aruet Voltaire (1694-1778) who bitterly criticizes the claims of the young wise. Nowadays this motto is applied accentuated or is useful to refer to a great scholar, and more to the one who knows nothing and pretends to know everything.

De pace colloqui

Lecture about peace.

De populo barbaro

About a barbarian people. Words with which a David’s psalm ends, and which is used to express that a violent act is going to be committed. Generally those words are preceded by the verb do: To do one of a barbarian people.

De prole augenda

About the need to procreate children. Speech of Quintus Caecilius Metellus called the Numidicus (¨ - 91 B.C.) that Augustus made to be distributed among the roman society after having published the laws of Julia and Popea against celibacy and on big families. From the few pieces we have received from this speech, it appears to follow that the author used an ironic tone, and presented the marriage not as an ideal, but as a necessary evil, and the women as a whip from which nature prevents us from getting free.

De veneficiis

Of poisoning.

De vita et moribus

About the life and the customs.

De vulnere tardus

Slow as a result of a wound.


Ended the war.


Owe. Term created with the Latin preposition "of" and the verb "having" which means “have”. To be obliged to something by law, moral, religion.

Debita meditatione

Famous pragmatic created by Peter III on November 14, 1339, which constitutes the local privilege of Barcelona on civil law matter of testate successions. It sets forth that a validity of a testament exists only with the capacity to testate and the institution of an heir capable, even though there may be a omission of a legitimate heir or disinheritance or some formality be omitted, provided there are two or more witnesses under the testament or last will and it be public, saving the omitted legitimate heirs or disinherited their rights to their legal portions , and even though for any reason there fails to be the instituted heir, the bequeaths and trusts or any disposition made to capable persons be valid.



Debitum conjugale

Marital duty. It is the duty each of the married spouse has over the other to copulate when the other requires or asks to do so. It is legal duty, however positive civil laws do not punish it since they cannot get into the sacred issues of the family and due to the fact that from the application of duress there might be worse effects. The marital duty is the consequence of the purposes of marriage.

Decem primi

The first ten decurions of a municipal city. This name was given in the past to the ten senators that occupied, respectively, the first position in front of their "decuria senatus". They represented the ten curias of the original tribe of the Ramnians. After the union of this with the Luceres and the Tities and the increase of the senators to 300, the ones of the first tribe kept their privileges with the jus dicendae sententiae of the others. In the age of the Republic the same name was given to the consulate characters and the senators of the oldest families. In the cities of the old Lazio and then of the Latin colonies which had a similar law (jus latii) the municipal senate also had ahead ten members called also decem primi or primores latinorum coloniarum, and when the law Julia of the year 709 of Rome organizes on uniform basis the cities of Italy, each one had its senate or ordo decurionum with the decem primi, which created a kind of mandated committed mainly with all the issues in Rome.

Decet imperatorem stantem mori

An emperor has to die standing. Words of Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus.


Statement. It has three meanings in the legal sense: 1) explanation or interpretation of what is doubtful, even though in this case the term interpretation is more used; 2) demonstration made by a person about facts determined in an oral, writing, legal, out of court, administrative manner; 3) official and public demonstration of a thing.

Decretum o Collectarium

Important collection of sources of Ecclesiastical law, created at the beginning of the XI century, and which was the basis of other sources.

Deferre nomen alicuis

File an accusation against oneself.


To be abandoned (to lack the breath)

Delectatione adfici

Experience a pleasure.


Offence. Infringement breach of law.


Crime. Quality of offender.




Cut from (separate or move away each other).

Deminutio capitis

Expiration, loss of citizenship rights.

Densus vimine

Heavily covered by willows.

Dente lupus, cornu taurus petit

The wolf attacks with the teeth and the bull with the horn. It suggests that as natural defense, each one defends as he can and uses the weapons provided by nature.

Deo, non fortuna

It means we should believe in the plans of God and not in the ones of luck or fortune.

Deorum muneribus instructi sumus

We have been covered by divine gifts.

Derecho cesáreo

Collection of constitutions, proclamation, decrees and prescript of the roman emperors since they had all the power and sovereignty till the fall of the empire.


Dereliction, desert, abandonment. Name given to the thing abandoned by his owner. It is made nullius since possession is lost.

Desiderium crebris epistulis

Sweeten nostalgia by frequent exchange of letters.

Desilire de equo

Dismounting his own horse.

Desperare sibi

To be past praying for.

Desperatis rebus

In desperate situation.

Deum colem, regem serva

Worship God and observe the law.

Devota arbos

Damned tree.

Diabolus metalorum

Evil of metals. Name given by the alchemist to the tin, due to its exceptional metalloid nature.

Diarium europeum

News publication of the XVIII century, herald of the modern journalism, founded in Hayn (Silesia) by Martin Meyer with the pseudonym of Philamerus Irenieus Elisius. The first volume covering the years 1657 and 1658, appeared in 1659.

Dic quaeso, quid velis

Do me the favor of saying what you want.

Dicam tuis ut librum describant

Mandate yours to copy the book.

Dico dolorem non esse summum malum

I affirm that the pain is not the worst evil.

Dicta dicere in aliquem

Make dirty jokes to one.

Dicta probantia

Aphorism which means probable force, specially in biblical sense, on which an article of faith is based on, or from where it is deducted.

Dicta testium

Declaration of the witnesses.

Dicto anno

On that year.


Saying, judgment, proverb.

Dictum clasicum

Classical place.

Dictum dicere

Say a joke.

Diem dicere alicui

To signal somebody the day of appearance

Diem ex (o) de die

Day after day.

Diem ex die te exspecto

I wait for you day after day.

Diem ex mense

A day of the month.

Dies constituta

Prefixed term.

Dies festus ludorum

Festivity day with games.

Dies nefasti

Fateful days.

Dies pecuniae

Payment day.

Dificultas anonade

The difficulties of supply


Ordered, distributed, Digest or Pandects. Collection of Roman law decisions unifying the writings of the old jurists for the constitution Deo Auctore of December 15 th, 530. Justinian, after recompiling the laws in the Codex Justinianeus (528-529), started the hard venture of recompiling, extracting it, codifying it and modernizing it, the Jus (works of jurists). As preparation for the same he issues 50 decisions and the 250 amending Constitutions, and once the jus controversum en ius receptum was formed and repealed or reformed the old, started the venture of creating a Codex juris enucleati. Under Constitution Deo auctore of December 15 530 the emperor committed Trebonian the creation of the work (Roman jurist of the VI century and minister of justice during the Justinian government, author of great compilations) together with a commission consisting of 16 persons who Tribonian himself was entitled to choose. Justinian set the following criteria: that the work had to be divided into 50 books and the books into titles, whether according the order of the Edict, or of the Code; that the work should have to called Digest (name given to long treaties on law, the word deriving from digerere, distribute orderly) or Pandectas (two Greek terms which mean contain everything); that commissioners were free to chose the works not be added, and they were not bound to follow the opinion of the majority, not obliged to remove notes of Paulo, Ulpianus and Marcianus Popinianus (which were previously abolished); that the commissioners themselves were authorized to remove everything they considered obsolete, needless or harmful, and that any antinomy or repetition should have to be avoided not only inside the work but also with respect to the decisions already included in the Code, as well as everything turned out of date. Finally the Emperor prohibited that comments be made to the work done under these criteria (with the purpose of preventing further conflicting opinions), only permitting to create indexes to the same.

Dignus est intrare

It is worth entering. Formula taken of the burlesque ceremony of the Imaginary Invalid of Moliere, used as a joke when somebody is to be accepted into a corporation or society. It is also referred to as dignus est intrare in docto corpore nostro (is worth entering our scholar corporation).

Dignus est operarius mercede sua

The worker deserves his salary or food.

Dignus vindice nodus

Knot that cannot be undone, but by a protecting God. Expression of Horace referring to the outcome of certain dramas. It is used figuratively to mean a that a particular serious issue cannot be solved satisfactorily without the recommendation or interference of an influential person.

Dimidius patrum, dimidius plebis

Half patrician, half plebeian.


Straight. Be headed, straighten, line up.

Dirunus cibus

Portion of a day.

Dis genitus

Son of Gods.

Discrepat (de, inter)

There is discrepancy (about, between).

Diversis itineribus

Through paths separate between themselves.

Divitiae certae

Safe wealth.


Divorce. Deriving from divert, step aside, disagree, since the spouses seem to move in different directions (in diverse directions eunt, walk towards different parts).

Divortium aquarum

Point from which current waters move towards opposite directions.

Divortium cum uxore

To divorce.

Do litteras tabellario ad Aticum

Deliver the postman a letter for Atico.

Do operam alicui rei

Work on something.

Docere aliquem equo, fidibus

Teach somebody to ride a horse.

Doctus cum libro

Wise with a book. Applies to the persons who unable to create or even judge by themselves, are always repeating what they have read from the books. An Spanish proverb says about this: “that brightness – derive from other talents; - lets know which is yours". Equivalent to the common phrase: to speak from hearsay.

Doctus litteris latinis

Versed in Latin.

Dolent fortasse et aguntur

Groan perhaps and torments.

Dolis capiebantur

Were possessed by these deceits.

Dolor, vulneribus

For pain, the wounds.

Dolus malus abest

Without fraud, faithfully. The first letters are frequently seen in the roman sale records, contracts, etc.

Domesticum bellum

Internal war.

Domi militiaeque

In peace and in war.

Domine, salvam fac Republicam

God, save the Republic. First words of an official prayer sung every Sunday at French Churches. During the times of the Monarchy it was said: salvum fac regem (save the king).

Domus mea tibi patet

My home is always open for you.

Domus tanti veniit quanti empta erat

The house was sold at purchase price; get by corruption, bribery.

Donec eris felix, multos numerabis amicos; tempora si fuerint nubilia, solus eris

While you are happy, you will have a lot a of friends, but if the weather gets cloudy, or fortune is unfavorable, you will be left alone. Maxim of Ovid which does not need explanation. The rich has a lots of friends, while from the poor all run away.

Dotis (genitivo de dos)

Dote. Deriving from give. Fortune taken by the woman upon obtaining status. It was a custom of the old people that men gave the women to whom they married a certain amount of property or money; the same happened between the Germans, where the husband gave the pledge to the woman by virtue of the marriage. In Rome, even though the sponsaliciae largitates were known, gifts given by both spouses by virtue of their marriage, far from there being a legal duty by the husband to provide a gift, the woman was the one who gave the gift. The dowery as endowment of the woman to the husband to support the charges of marriage was originated in the Roman law, based on the need of the daughters to receive their fatherly heir in advance, since they had no right to it from the moment they entered their husbands family; but even after this did not take effect, the dowery went on existing due to the highness of their purpose and to the fact it enhanced the dignity of the woman. From Rome, and upon the birth of the Roman law, the dowery extended to different countries.


Old religious belief which considers that the universe was formed and maintained through the concurrence of two principles equally necessary and everlasting, and independent one from the other. Philosophical opinion which explains the origin and nature of the universe through the action of two diverse or opposite substances or principles. Under the Law it refers to the double form of the main institutions comprising the sovereignty of the State, and which can include the whole of it.

Dubio caelo

With an uncertain sky.


Dispel all uncertainty.

Dubitationem expellere

Dispel the doubts.

Dubito an, Duco si

Maybe without, it is probable.

Dubium est an

Maybe, it is probable; uncertain, critical situation.

Ducere aliquam in matrimonio

Accept one as wife.

Ducere aliquem in carcerem

Imprison somebody.

Ducere uxorem

Accept a wife.

Dulcia linquimus arva

We abandoned our cherished fields. Hemistich of Virgil in his I Eclogue, third line.

Dulcis moriens reminiscetur Argos

His mind, upon death, reminds him of his sweet homeland, Argos. Virgil draws in this poem the pain of a young warrior who dies far away from this homeland.

Dum angent, clamant

While they keep silence, they talk. This expression implies that there is very eloquent silence.

Dum ne

Provided that no.

Dum spiro, spero

While I live I wait. This expression is used to suggest that hope should not be lost but with the life.

Dum ut

Salt provided that; salt under the condition that.

Dummodo ne

Provided that no.

Duodecim scripta (ludus duodecim scriptorum)

Game of the old Romans by which they used a board or square (alveus tabula), where twelve lines were drawn (scripta), divided by a vertical line, so they formed twenty four squares. The game was played by throwing dices (mittere, jacere) through a beaker (pyrgus, fritillus), and putting inside the squares queens or pawns that each player put on the board or made go forward depending on the number of points of the dices.

Dupli damnabitur

Be condemned to pay double.