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The phrase Novus ordo seclorum
Novus ordo seclorum
( Latin
Latin
for "New order of the ages"; English: /ˈnoʊvəs ˈɔːrdoʊ sɛˈklɔːrəm/; Latin pronunciation: [ˈnɔwʊs ˈoːrdoː seːˈkɫoːrũː]) is the second of two mottos that appear on the reverse (or back side) of the Great Seal of the United States. (The first motto is Annuit cœptis, literally translated "[He/she/it] has favored our undertakings".) The Great Seal was first designed in 1782, and has been printed on the back of the United States one-dollar bill
United States one-dollar bill
since 1935. The phrase Novus ordo seclorum is sometimes mistranslated as "New World Order" by people who believe in a conspiracy behind the design.[1]

Reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States

Origin and phrase meaning[edit] The phrase is a reference to the fourth Eclogue of Virgil,[1] which contains a passage (lines 5-8[2]) that reads:

Latin English

Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis aetas; Now comes the final era of the Sibyl's song;

Magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo. The great order of the ages is born afresh.

iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna, And now justice returns, honored rules return (or return of Saturn's reign);

iam nova progenies caelo demittitur alto. now a new lineage is sent down from high heaven.

The forms saecla, saeclorum etc. were normal alternatives to the more common saecula etc. throughout the history of Latin
Latin
poetry and prose. The form saeculorum is impossible in hexameter verse: the ae and o are long, the u short by position. For the medieval exchange between ae, æ and e, see Æ; the word medieval (mediæval) itself is another example. Medieval
Medieval
Christians read Virgil's poem as a prophecy of the coming of Christ. The Augustan Age, although pre-Christian, was viewed as a golden age preparing the world for the coming of Christ. The great poets of this age were viewed as a source of revelation and light upon the Christian mysteries to come.[3] The word seclorum does not mean "secular", as one might assume, but is the genitive (possessive) plural form of the word saeculum, meaning (in this context) generation, century, or age. Saeculum did come to mean "age, world" in late, Christian Latin, and "secular" is derived from it, through secularis. However, the adjective "secularis," meaning "worldly," is not equivalent to the genitive plural "seclorum," meaning "of the ages."[4] Thus the motto Novus ordo seclorum
Novus ordo seclorum
can be translated as "A new order of the ages." It was proposed by Charles Thomson, the Latin
Latin
expert who was involved in the design of the Great Seal of the United States, to signify "the beginning of the new American Era" as of the date of the Declaration of Independence.[1][5] See also[edit]

Annuit cœptis E pluribus unum Eye of Providence

References[edit]

^ a b c "Novus Ordo Seclorum - Origin and Meaning of the Motto
Motto
Beneath the American Pyramid". GreatSeal.com.  ^ P. Vergilius Maro, Eclogues,J. B. Greenough, Ed. ^ Ann Raftery Meyer: Medieval
Medieval
allegory and the building of the new Jerusalem DS Brewer, 2003. ISBN 978-0-85991-796-4 ^ Lewis and Short, A Latin
Latin
Dictionary: Founded on Andrews' Edition of Freund's Latin
Latin
Dictionary: Revised, Enlarged, and in Great Part Rewritten by Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D. and Charles Short, LL.D. The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1879, s. vv. ^ "The Great Seal of the United States," U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., July 2003, pp. 4, 5, 15. PDF of official brochure.

v t e

National symbols of the United States

Symbols

Flag of the United States Seal of the United States Bald eagle Uncle Sam Columbia General Grant (tree) American's Creed Pledge of Allegiance Rose Oak American bison Phrygian cap

Songs

"The Star-Spangled Banner" "Dixie" "America the Beautiful" "The Stars and Stripes Forever" "Hail to the Chief" "Hail, Columbia" "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" "God Bless America" "Lift Every Voice and Sing" "The Army Goes Rolling Along" "Anchors Aweigh" "Marines' Hymn" "Semper Fidelis" "The Air Force Song" "Semper Paratus" "National Emblem" "The Washington Post March" "Battle Hymn of the Republic" "Yankee Doodle" "You're a Grand Old Flag" "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" "This Land Is Your Land"

Mottos

In God We Trust E Pluribus Unum Novus ordo seclorum Annuit cœptis

Landmarks

Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
(Liberty Enlightening the World) Liberty Bell Mount Rushmore National Mall

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