Animus in consulendo liber

Motto on the left wall at NATO headquarters in Brussels, 2013

Animus in consulendo liber (Latin: "A mind unfettered in deliberation") is the motto of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).[1] The phrase is from The Conspiracy of Catiline (52.21) by the Roman historian Sallust, and was translated by Charles Anthon as "a mind unfettered in deliberation".[2]

The motto was chosen by the dean of the NATO Council, André de Staercke, to reflect the spirit of consultation envisioned by the then-Secretary General of NATO Paul-Henri Spaak.[1] De Staercke borrowed the quote when he recalled his visit to the Palace of the Chief Magistrate in San Gimignano, where "animus in consulendo liber" was engraved on the Magistrate's seat.[1] The motto is displayed on the wall of the main council room at NATO headquarters in Brussels, behind the chairman's seat.[1]

The motto's original context by Sallust, who cites Cato the Younger's address to the Roman Senate, is: "But there were other qualities which made them [our forefathers] great, which we do not possess at all: efficiency at home, a just rule abroad, in counsel an independent spirit free from guilt or passion".[3]

  1. ^ a b c d "Animus in consulendo liber". NATO. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  2. ^ Sallust (1838). Jugurthine war and Conspiracy of Catiline: with an English commentary, and geographical and historical indexes. Translated by Anthon, Charles. Harper. p. 282.
  3. ^ Sallust (1931) [Translation first published 1921]. Sallust. Loeb Classical Library. Translated by Rolfe, John C (Revised ed.). Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 52.21. ISBN 0-674-99128-1. Retrieved 23 March 2015 – via LacusCurtius. In Latin, sed alia fuere, quae illos magnos fecere, quae nobis nulla sunt: domi industria, foris iustum imperium, animus in consulendo liber, neque delicto neque lubidini obnoxius.

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