Quintus Tullius Cicero Quote

“During war, the laws are silent.”

~ Quintus Tullius Cicero

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

Sad but true and far too often more accurate than not. The thumbs down is for man's inhumanity to man and his justification for abandoning the God of Nature's rule of law.

Mike, Norwalk

Excellent sequential line of reasoning through the 3 quotes today, thanks to the editor.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

This need not be so...

E Archer, NYC

And according to the Constitution, as long as the country is under a state of national emergency the President may govern according to his own dictates. America has been officially under a state of national emergency since 1934 thereby allowing the Executive Branch to gradually centralize all power into its own hands. It's one emergency after another until everyone marches in unison to the beat of the dictator's drum.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Facts are irrelevant during war and in 1934 the government declared marijuana has no medical benefit, putting the national emergency called "the war on drugs" into full swing. Marijuana relieves chronic pain (including migraines), reduces nausea, and increases appetite, and could be very beneficial to AIDS and cancer patients. Marijuana is bad only because the government can't tax the plants people grow. Marijuana is less addictive than nicotine or caffeine, and has obvious medical benefits, yet the government portrays it as worse than cocaine or alcohol. Prohibition is still not working. www.mpp.org

David L. Rosenthal

During war, a man is expected, under law, to take the lives of as many of the enemy as he can find in his sights, most of whom are men not so different from himself, who would rather be fishing. But the more usual laws are not merely silent at this time; they are struck dumb by immeasurable disbelief, disbelief that the same society which created laws to order itself also has laws for the extermination of other societies, to change its own members from pursuers of happiness to pursuers of death, and to take from the dead there lives and goods. And what choice have we at such times?

  • Reply
EGL, LA    11/21/06

I love the profound simplicity of Roman thinkers--and Greek for that matter. Was language more precious and prescient then? at least they used it as if it were. Two good books--The Twelve Ceasers by Mchael Grant, and of course Marcus Aurelius' Meditations.

David L Rosenthal

Even when laws remain silent, a crime is a crime. Right, Archer?


Obviously a quote a few centuries before the Abu Ghraib incident? For our US service members the UCMJ is never set aside.

  • Reply
    Anonymous    4/7/09

    Yeah, they are, but should they be? Is racial internment ever fair? No. Are witch hunts ever right? No. Is torture ever justified? ABSOLUTELY NOT! And yet, we continue to do it. Why?

    Kimo, USA

    War, is War, real war, has only two rules, know the side you are on, and take no prisoners. In the war of all wars, that is what will be done. Once it is set in motion, it cannot be stopped. Now, is the time, for all good men, to come to the aid of their fellow country men and like minded men. Free men. In real war, there are few rules, some men here know that. After the first shot is fired, there is no time for words, only action. There is only survival. Some men here know the bottom line. It is a dreaded thing, and fair, or rules, have no place in full out war.

    Kimo, USA

    Reston, your right, and your wrong. How can i say it......It may not need be so, but many men, will not live under oppresion. The times coming, will weed out the men from the boys, the cowards from the brave. The true american spirit, cannot be stopped, once men have tasted real freedom, there is no other way. Fear, can be the mind killer, or, the thing that gives strenght. It may need be so sir, regretfully, with great vigor.I am dying, but, I see that there are many free men still, and it warms my heart. There is one rule, i forgot about, protect the children, the women, and the innocent.if possible. If anyone here, has ever wonder what the phrase 'freedom is not free' means...the writing is on the wall.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Ergo: The unPatriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, Public (Big Brother) Surveillance and Perpetual War...I hear we're off to Uganda now on the 2011 US World Tour. Und zen on to ze next place!

    jim k, Austin, Tx

    .Just one reason governments start wars. People will put up with any and everything when your fighting an "enemy". Rent the movie, 1974.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    1984 isn't bad either. ;-) "Oceania is at war, Oceania has always been at war"

    Red Wolf
    • Reply
    Red Wolf    10/28/11

    They remain silent because they're cowards in the face of the country's leaders. The only way for the laws to break that silence is to develop a spine and actually defend what the laws dictate.

    jim k, Austin, Tx

    OOPS. I meant 1984.

    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

    Since we are always, by any definition, at war, maybe if we become intelligent and desire peace, maybe we should try obeying laws. Laws of humanity for instance.


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