Latin expressions explained (6): ultima ratio regum.

Latin expressions explained (6): ultima ratio regum.

You can find this Latin phrase on the cannons dating back to the time of Louis XIV. He borrowed the formula from his father’s closest advisor, Cardinal Richelieu. This motto literally means « the last, the ultimate argument of kings. »

In fact, to fully understand the meaning of the expression, it should be read as « strength, the final argument of kings. » Louis XIV, a warrior king, therefore found the formula appropriate for his conquering ambitions. It also means that when politics or diplomacy have failed, there remains the option of force, of weapons, for the king to resolve a conflict.

Since we have been unable to reach an agreement with our enemy, it will be war, ultima ratio regum.

Another latin expressions: Latin expression explained (5): vis comica. Latin expressions explained: Per fas et nefas. Latin expressions explained (3): Fluctuat nec mergitur. Latin expressions explained: « Cujus regio, ejus religio ». Latin expressions explained: summun jus, summa injuria.

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