ANNUIT COEPTIS Origin and Meaning
Translating ANNUIT COEPTIS
Annuit coeptis means "favors (lit., gives the nod to) undertakings." The subject must be supplied. Who favors? The Eye (Providence) does.
The verb annuit can be either present tense or perfect tense, therefore an accurate translation of the motto is: "Providence favors our undertakings" or "Providence has favored our undertakings." (The word "our" is supplied.)
The meaning of this motto is better understood when seen in its original classical context.
Discover the Source of Annuit Coeptis.
"The many remarkable interpositions of the divine government, in the hours of our deepest distress and darkness, have been too luminous to suffer me to doubt the happy issue of the present contest." (March 26, 1781)
"The Commander in Chief earnestly recommends that the troops not on duty should universally attend with that seriousness of Deportment and gratitude of Heart which the recognition of such reiterated and astonishing interpositions of Providence demand of us." (October 20, 1781)
Annuit Coeptis reflects the mottoes suggested by the third committee (Deo Favente) as well as by the first committee (Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God).
Note: Annuit does not mean "to announce" (which is annuntio).
Historical content is based on the official history of the Great Seal.
Copyright ©2014 by John D. MacArthur.