Vim Vi Repellere Licet

Vim Vi Repellere Licet

“It is permitted to meet force with force.”

This was a legal precedent in ancient Rome.

The motto comes from an old Roman legal precedent. The phrase means that self-defense is justified, and that reacting immediately to an offense is not the same as waiting and premeditating a response.

Martin Luther spoke regarding the principle in his “Sermon on Usury” in 1520. Luther opposed the belief that the use of force or violence could be justified. He noted that while the law allowed for the use of force to resist force, it also allowed brothels. And while Man’s laws may allow it, God’s laws did not.


2 Responses to “Vim Vi Repellere Licet”

  1. 1 sarah May 20, 2011 at 2:14 am

    This maxim is also used in an actio spolii (action for spoliation) under property law – he who has been despoiled in his possession or detention of a movable or an immovable can protect the object by reacting immediately and not ex intervallo.

  2. 2 Davis January 6, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I am a Gwinn. This is the motto I live by

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