Cicero and South Carolina: Dum Spiro Spero

In June I finished a Cicero translation course at the University of Dallas in which we translated portions of Cicero’s De officiis (‘On Duties’) – no small task given Cicero’s style. I then went with my family to South Carolina for a beautiful and wonderful vacation on the beach. It was fantastic. And so, you might ask, what does Cicero have to do with South Carolina? A strange question isn’t it. Yet there is a strong connection.

The state motto of South Carolina is a quote from Cicero: Dum spiro spero, which means “While I breathe, I hope”. It’s a pun since “I breathe” in Latin sounds like “I hope” – spiro and spero.

The Carolinas must love Cicero because the state motto of North Carolina is also a Cicero quote from his De amicitia (‘On Friendship’): Esse quam videri, which means “To be rather than to seem.” In other words, “Be genuine.”

Download My Book for Free
Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages
Over 15,000 copies downloaded! This is a quick and easy way to learn the basic philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Popes of the last 300 years have endorsed St Thomas Aquinas. Learn more through this accessible resources. Download it for free.

Comments Policy: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. If your comment contains a hyperlink to another site, your comment automatically goes into "Comments Purgatory" where it waits for release by way of moderation.