Hi! Welcome to “Dusty Phrases.” You will find below an ancient phrase in one language or another, along with its English translation. You may also find the power to inspire your friends or provoke dread among your enemies.
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aquila non capit muscas
an eagle does not catch flies
This is a fun one for when you’re feeling self-important. The meaning of this Latin adage is that one who is powerful or influential does not do unimportant things.
The expression is related to the legal doctrine, De minimis – via wiki:
De minimis is a Latin expression meaning “pertaining to minimal things”, normally in the terms de minimis non curat praetor (“The praetor does not concern himself with trifles”) or de minimis non curat lex (“The law does not concern itself with trifles”), a legal doctrine by which a court refuses to consider trifling matters. Queen Christina of Sweden (r. 1633–1654) favoured the similar Latin adage, aquila non capit muscās (the eagle does not catch flies).
The legal history of de minimis dates back to the 15th century.