“Veritas” was the motto for my high school, a Dominican Order-run Catholic school in East Dallas. When I first heard the word, it was Greek to me. Well, Latin. Anyway, I soon found out that the motto meant “Truth.” The word derives its meaning from the Roman goddess of truth. Veritas was the daughter of Saturn and the mother of Virtue. Veritas the goddess was thought to have hidden in a holy well because she was so elusive. Also, her image is shown as a young virgin dressed in white. The actual Greek name for Veritas was Aletheia.
–statue of Veritas outside the Supreme Court of Canada
From my high school’s website:
What does the motto “Veritas” mean?
Veritas means truth. It is one of the three basic principles of the Dominican Order. The other principles are Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare (to praise, to bless, and to preach) and Contemplare et Contemplata Aliis Tradere (to study and to hand on the fruits of study).
Some other familiar Latin phrases in which “veritas” is used:
–“in vino veritas” or “in wine there is truth”
–“magna est veritas, et praevalebit” or “truth is great and will prevail”
–“vincit omnia veritas” or “truth conquers all things”
Other words that use “veritas” as its root word:
–verism-extreme naturalism in art or literature
–veritable-being truly or very much so
–vérité-French for truth as in “cinema vérité” or involving a high degree of realism or naturalism
–verity-the state or quality of being true, accordance with factor or reality, e.g., the verity of a statement
Bernini sculpted a statue he entitled “Veritas”:
—Veritas, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1646-1652, marble,
80 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome