List Of Legal Maxims



barba tenus sapientes

Beata Virgo Maria (BVM)

beatae memoriae

beati pauperes spiritu

beati possidentes

beatus homo qui invenit sapientiam

bella gerant alii

bellum omnium contra omnes

bibo ergo sum

bis dat qui cito dat

bis in die (bid)

bona fide

bona notabilia

bona officia

bona patria

bona vacantia

boni pastoris est tondere pecus non deglubere

bonum commune communitatis

bonum commune hominis



wise as far as the beard

Blessed Virgin Mary

of blessed memory

Blessed in spirit [are] the poor.

blessed [are] those who possess

blessed is the man who finds wisdom

let others wage war

war of all against all

I drink, therefore I am

he gives twice, who gives promptly

twice in a day

in good faith

good services

vacant goods

It is of a good shepherd to shear his flock, not to flay them.

common good of the community

common good of a man


From Gerhard Gerhards' (1466–1536) [better known as Erasmus] collection of annotated Adagia (1508). In appearance wise, but not necessarily so.

A common name in the Roman Catholic Church for Mary, the mother of Jesus. The genitive, Beatae Mariae Virginis (BMV), occurs often as well, appearing with such words as horae (hours), litaniae (litany) and officium (office).

See in memoriam.

Vulgate, Matthew 5:3. The full quote is "beati pauperes spiritu quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum" ("Blessed in spirit [are] the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens" - one of the Beatitudes).

Translated from Euripides.

from Proverbs 3:13; set to music in a 1577 motet of the same name by Orlando di Lasso.

Originally from the Habsburg marriages of 1477 and 1496, written as bella gerant alii tu felix Austria nube (let others wage war; you, fortunate Austria, marry). Said by King Matthias

A phrase used by Thomas Hobbes to describe the state of nature.

Thus a gift that is given quickly without hesitation is worth twice as much.

Medical shorthand for "twice a day".

In other words, "well-intentioned", "fairly". In modern contexts, often has connotations of "genuinely" or "sincerely". Bona fides is not the plural (which would be bonis fidebus), but the nominative, and means simply "good faith". Opposite of mala fide.

In law, if a person dying has goods, or good debts, in another diocese or jurisdiction within that province, besides his goods in the diocese where he dies, amounting to a certain minimum value, he is said to have bona notabilia; in which case, the probat of his will belongs to the archbishop of that province.

A nation's offer to mediate in disputes between two other nations.

A jury or assize of countrymen, or good neighbors.

United Kingdom legal term for ownerless property that passes to The Crown.

Tiberius reportedly said this to his regional commanders, as a warning against taxing the populace excessively.

Or "general welfare". Refers to what benefits a society, as opposed to bonum commune hominis, which refers to what is good for an individual.

Refers to an individual's happiness, which is not "common" in that it serves everyone, but in that individuals tend to be able to find happiness in similar things.

Pseudo-Latin meaning "baffling puzzle" or "difficult point". John of Cornwall (ca. 1170) was once asked by a scribe what the word meant. It turns out that the original text said in diebus illis magnis plenæ (in those days there were plenty of great things), which the scribe misread as indie busillis magnis plenæ (in India there were plenty of large busillis).