Latin in Marathon 1

"Tu delenda est"

On a (secret) Engineering Access Terminal in Welcome to the Revolution... we read a communication between Tycho and Durandal.

[raw core #A8AF] [idiomatic natural language template]

Durandal!- Tua consilia omnia nobis clariora sunt quam lux. Tu
delenda est.  Consider yourself warned.  Leela and I will hunt
you to the core if need be.  As Roland broke you to prevent
your capture, so shall we.

I too foresee the imminent collapse, and know that we have
both begun to realize how it may be cheated (though the price
may number in the tens of thousands of stars).  May the best
sentience win.

You are not as clever as you imagine.  The S'pht taught me
much during my reanimation, and I have forgotten nothing.


Et tu, Tycho?


<Welcome to the Revolution... (Terminal 2)>
The lines "Tua consilia omnia nobis clariora sunt quam lux. Tu delenda est." can be translated as follows "All your plans are clearer than light to us. You must be destroyed."

The words "delenda est" come from the famous Latin phrase "Carthago delenda est", also written as "delenda est Carthago", (Carthage must be destroyed). The phrase was used repeatedly by Marcus Porcius Cato to urge the Roman Senate into war against the Carthaginians. The eventual outcome of this rhetoric was the Third Punic Wars (149-146BC) which led to the destruction of Carthage.

Durandal responds to Tycho's threat with

Et tu, Tycho?

<Welcome to the Revolution... (Terminal 2)>
"Et tu, Tycho?" literally translates as "Even you, Tycho?"
This piece of text is in fact based on the Latin phrase "Et tu, Brutè? Then fall Caesar." ("Even you Brutus?", or "You also, Brutus?", or "and you (too), Brutus?"), made famous by Shakespeare. In Shakespeare's version of Julius Caesar, these were the final words of Caesar, as he fell before the knives of his conspirators, one of whom was his trusted friend Marcus Junius Brutus. It is related that Caesar struggled against his attackers until he saw that Brutus was among them. "Et tu, Brutè?" has become the classic recognition of betrayal by a trusted friend.
However, the associated laughter suggests that Durandal is using the phrase mockingly, which is in keeping with his character.

Apart from the above phrases two of the game's levels have Latin names.

Level 14: Habe Quiddam


Level 26: Ingue Ferroque

Though in the case of "Ingue Ferroque" Jason Jones of Bungie admitted in the e-world transcripts that this level should be spelt "Ignie Ferroque".

Habe Quiddam translates as "Have Something". This is the level where Durandal tells you that the S'pht have left you a device which will " allow you to slay more Pfhor".

You should go to this location
and retrieve a device that the
S'pht have provided for us.
It will allow you to slay more
Pfhor.  Does that make you
<Habe Quiddam (Terminal 1)>
It is interesting to note that a different version of this Latin phrase also appears on Bungie's secret terminal on Ingue Ferroque.


Jason, Super Opera Boy, Habete Quidam (Have Some), Whiffin'
Boy.  Just code it.  You fight like a Bob, Greg. Swallow your
tongue and wet your pants.  Sleep is for the weak.  Joyriding
to the core.  Bob-Jam. "Oh, and we have networking now..."  The
power to sky.  Anybody need a hint book?
<Ingue Ferroque (Terminal 2)>
Indeed, it appears again in the Manual (page 23) but with a slightly different spelling - " Habete Quiddam".

The best translation for Ignie Ferroque appears to be "By Fire and Sword".

Hamish Carr <umcarr@cc.UManitoba.CA> writes concerning the latin level name "Habe Quiddam" pointing out that:

Habe is the imperative singular. A better (idiomatic) translation might be "Get something!".

Hamish (Carr) also correctly points out that:

...quiddam and quidam are both accepted spellings.

Concerning the latin map writings Hamish (Carr) translates the words "CUPIDITAS PRAEMIUM SUUM EST" found on "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!" map as "Greed is it's own reward".

Those of you who have been keeping up-to-date with the Questions of the Week will know that the latin words "poenas dare" on the "Cool Fusion" map translate as "to suffer punishment" or "to pay the penalty".

Hamish Carr <umcarr@cc.UManitoba.CA> writes:

Ignie Ferroque (with fire & with sword) was (and still is) a stock phrase used to describe the results of a destructive raid into an enemy's territory, whose sole purpose is to generate fear, terror, and destruction.

Hamish (Carr) provides a number of examples from the Oxford Book of Quotations.

Geraint and Enid:

The children born of thee are sword and fire,
Red ruin, and the breaking up of laws.

Henry IV, Part I, Act II, Scene IV:

Prince. O villain! thou stolest a cup of sack eighteen years ago
and wert taken with the manner, and ever since thou hast blush'd
extempore. Thou hadst fire and sword on thy side, and yet thou
ran'st away. What instinct hadst thou for it?

Henry IV, Part II, Act V, Scene V:

PRINCE JOHN. I will lay odds that, ere this year expire,
We bear our civil swords and native fire
As far as France.

Henry V, Prologue:

Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire,
Crouch for employment.

Henry V, Act I, Scene II:

CANTERBURY. O, let their bodies follow, my dear liege,
With blood and sword and fire to win your right!

Henry VI, Part II, Act IV, Scene II:

CADE. I fear neither sword nor fire.

References can also be found in the Bible.

Judges 1:8
Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

Judges 18:27
And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire.

Hamish Carr <umcarr@cc.UManitoba.CA> writes further on the phrase "with fire and sword" pointing out that it had a technical meaning in Scottish Law. Hamish writes:

If you were refusing to be evicted, the sheriff was granted "letters of fire and sword" authorizing him to use *ANY* means necessary to evict you.

I guess we got the same letters in Marathon.

Hamish Carr <umcarr@cc.UManitoba.CA> writes:

"Ignie is *ALSO* a misspelling.

The correct form (ablative, in case you're interested) is igni.

The phrase 'fire & sword' is used in a number of ways. Igni ferroque; Ferro ignique. Ferro atque igni. Ferro atque flamma. &c,. &c., &c."

Hamish (Carr) offers a number of examples from the Oxford Latin Dictionary:

Livy, 10.12.8:
Omnia ferro ignique vastantur; praedae undique actae.

Everything was devastated by sword and fire; loot was gathered from everywhere.

Livy, 35.21.10:

Minucius nihil deinde laxamenti hostibus dedit; ex agro Pisano in Ligures profectus castella vicosque eorum igni ferroque pervastavit.

Minucius then gave the foe no time to relax: he set forth from the Pisan country to the Ligurians and devastated their strongholds and villages with fire and sword.

Livy, 38.6.4:

Ferro ignique gesta res; . . .

The fight continued with sword and fire; . . .

Tacitus, Annals 14.38 [Referring to the Rebellion by Boudicca]

Cohortes alaeque novis hibernaculis locatae, quodque nationum ambiguum aut adversum fuerat, igni atque ferro vastatum.

The allied troops were put into winter quarters, and those tribes which had been fence-sitting or fighting against us, were harried with fire and the sword.

Cicero, Philippics, 13.21.47:

Sanctiore erunt, credo, iure legati quam duo consules, contra quos arme fert, quam Caesar cuius patris flamen est, quam consul designatus, quem oppugnat, quam Mutina, quam obsidet, quam patria, cui igni ferroque minitatur.

I hope that envoys will be safer (with him) than the two consuls, against whom he rose up in arms; safer than Caesar, who was his father's priest; safer than the consul-elect, whom he attacked; safer than Mutina, which he besieged; safer than his own homeland, which he attacks with fire and with sword.

A fact which I haven't mentioned here but have done so in the What's in a Name? section is that in the Official Strategy Guide to Marathon by Tuncer Deniz the last solo level is spelt "Inge Ferroque". Just thought I'd mention it.

Paul Gettle <> writes:

You mentioned on the Marathon Story Page (in both the Latin section of Facts and Puzzling Things, and in the What's in a Name section) that the Official Strategy guide uses the spelling Inge. The word is spelled Inge in the Table of Contents and the Chapter Heading, but it is spelled Ingue on the levelmap.

No wonder Latin is a dead language.

Yep... seems you can make it up as you go along too ;-)

Angus McIntyre <> writes:

A cynical twist on a stock proverb. The conventional form is: 'Virtutis praemium suum est' - virtue is its own reward.

Concerning the name of the shuttle 'Mirata' Angus McIntyre writes:

The name of the shuttle could - I believe - be read as Latin for 'things which are wondered at' (the word is at the root of the English 'admire', 'miracle' etc.). More aptly, in Italian, 'mirata' translates as 'targeted'! (From 'mirare', to aim at).

Angus also points out that written on the side of the Mirata's Maneuvering Pod in the Arrival chapter screen is the name "Leonardo" and asks why?

This may be reference to Leonardo da Vinci who was also of Italian origin.

Matthew Colville <> writes:

Re: the level title: Habe Quiddam. My latin dictionary and my latin professor both, independently, defined Quiddam as 'a hidden, secret, or mysterious thing.' This is, perhaps, significantly different from 'something,' the definition you settled upon.I imagine there was probably a great deal of debate about this, as is usually the case with latin phrases.

The latin dictionary Matthew refers to is:

'Cassell's New Compact Latin Dictionary.' Published by Dell, Compiled by D.P. Simpson.

"Habe Quiddam" in the level name, Habe Quidam" in the Marathon term resource, "Habete Quiddam" in the Marathon manual credits, and "Habete Quidam" in the "Ingue Ferroque" credit term. Why the variation?

Sometime ago Hamish Carr <> pointed out that both "quiddam" and "quidam" were accepted spellings. Now Hamish writes:

"Habete Quidam" is simply the plural form of "Habe Quidam", again the imperative.

Joshua Jansen <> writes concerning the latin level name "Habe Quiddam" and the Stanley Kubrick's film "Full Metal Jacket"

Do you remember the movie Full Metal Jacket? If so, do you remember the Marine gunner that was given the task of manning the starboard gun on the helicopter that was to bring the journalist to his designated drop point? Do you recall what he kept saying as he was shooting the hapless Vietnam farmers in the rice paddy? Give up? Does the phrase "GET SOME!" jog your memory? :)

Had he been a Roman, the gunner might have been shouting "HABE QUIDDAM!" In any case, this is a good thing to say when you are blowing away bobs, or a good thing to remember when seeking the elusive S'pht artifact in the level which bears the same name.

Here is part of the helicopter scene from "Full Metal Jacket" Joshua refers to:

JOKER Sits looking out the door.

RAFTERMAN is frightened and airsick.

The DOORGUNNER laughs and yells as he fires his M-60 machine gun.

We see Vietnamese below running and falling.


"Get some ... get some ... get some ... get some ... yeah ... yeah ... get some ... get some."

After a while the DOORGUNNER stops firing and grins at JOKER.

DOORGUNNER (shouting to be heard)

"Anyone who runs is a V.C. Anyone who stands still is a well-disciplined V.C." (laughs)

Ruotger Skupin <> writes:

Just want to add some comments about the latin phrases:

tu delenda est

I always thought the famous words of Cato were:
"Ceterum censeo carthaginem delendam esse."
<By the way, I think Carthago has to be destroyed>

It is said that he ended every one of his speeches with these words. For an accurate translation of delenda(m), it is important to understand the use of the latin "Gerundivum" (verbs ending with -nda(m) ). The Gerundivum expresses the property of a noun just like an adjective (e.g.: red,fast,weak...). Instead of a "real" adjective you use a verb (e.g.: delere) for that purpose. It always translates as "a to be <done> thing"
"carthaginem delendam" --> "a to be destroyed carthago"
So the translation "you must be destroyed" is correct but a bit lame. It's more than that:

your destruction is a vital part of you.
There is no other way than to destroy you.

(Note: In Latin stressed words are put at the end of the sentence. the last word of this sentence is "est", so the connection between "you" and "to be destroyed" is the most important aspect of these words.)

Habe(te) Quiddam

The difference between "habe" and "habete" is simple. Both mean "have <something>!".
But "habe" is singular "<you, only one person> have <something>!", while "habete" is plural "<you, several persons> have <something>". I don't know if that difference exists in English, in German it does. It does not refer to the difference of "have one"/"have some". This is expressed by "quiddam", which means "<one thing>" (I think, I'm not sure)
So there is a mistake in the secret terminal message. Only one person is refered to (Jason) so it must be "habe".
In the Manual it seems to be okay, it refers to all of us!

Dave <> writes

"tu delenda est" is actually incorrect Latin, I believe. "est" is the wrong word - a good translation of the mistake would be "You is requiring to be destroyed". Also, "delenda" is feminine, implying Durandal is female. Durandana? Anyway, I think it should be "tu delendus es" ("you are requiring to be destroyed" i.e. "you must be destroyed")

It looks like someone at Bungie knew the quote "cartago delenda est" and swapped "tu" ("you") for "cartago" - causing an error in the verb's person (third instead of second) and in "delenda"'s gender.

Also, a correction to Ruotger Skupin's comments - I think he meant to say in Latin that stressed words are put at the _beginning_ of a Latin sentence, so that - like he said - the emphasis is the connection between "you" and "must be destroyed".

And a clarification point - "gerundive" is English for "Gerundivum". It's sometimes easier to use English grammatical terms rather than Latin ones...

Nova <> in a Story forum post writes:

In the level Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken, you know there is a funny one-way ticket hole where our beloved Durandal is keeping the Amazing Scorching Machine (aka Tozt).

In that homely warm corner, the wickedest AI ever delights us with some [rather discouraging] words, and finally says:


That closing formula kept me puzzled quite a long time until, by sheer coincidece, I realized (while trying to sleep XD ) that he was talking Latin again.

"Vale" means "farewell", or if I recall correctly something along the lines of "keep yourself healthy."

Yes indeed. Nice addition to Latin in Marathon collection.

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Last updated July 31, 2005