Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Ubi scelus est id, quod non prosicit scire, jubemus (insurgere) leges, armari jura gladio ultore, ut exquisitis poenis subdantur infames, qui sunt, vel qui futuri sunt rei Definition:

Latin: Where that infamy exists,which ought not to be known, we commend the laws to be enforced and the authorities be armed with the avenging sword, that those infamous wretches may be overwhelmed with the severest punishment, who are, or shall be guilty of this crime.

Related Terms: Peccatum illud horribile, inter Christianos non nominandum

The unstated crime in this Latin maxim is both homosexual acts and sexual acts with animals (bestiality).

William Blackstone relies on and credits the law codes of the holy Roman emperors Constantius and Constans, referring to "Cod. 9.9.31", as authority for this maxim.


  • 25 Eliz. Chapter 17
  • 25 Henry VIII, Chapter 6
  • Blackstone, William, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Book 4, 5th Edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1773), pages 215-216
  • Richards, David, Sexual Preference as a Suspect (Religious) Classification: An Alternative Perspective on the Unconstitutionality of Anti-Lesbian/Gay Initiatives, 55 Ohio St. L.J. 491 (1994)
  • Rot. Parl. 50 Edw. III no 53, 12 ER 37
  • Tayler, Thomas, The Law Glossary (New York: Lewis & Blood, 1858), page 378

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