res publica

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From Latin rēs publica. Compare republic.



res publica ‎(uncountable)

  1. The common good, as identified with the wider state; the commonwealth, the body politic.
    • 1997, Herwig Wolfram, The Roman Empire and its Germanic Peoples, p. 190:
      At the same time the Roman-barbarian regna distinguished themselves from the res publica.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 402:
      There was no question as yet of republicanism being on the agenda, other than in the old, weak sense of a res publica or commonwealth to which both ruler and ruled owed allegiance.


Alternative forms[edit]


From rēs ‎(thing”, “affair) + pūblica, the feminine form of pūblicus ‎(public). Literally meaning "public thing".



rēs pūblica f ‎(genitive reī pūblicae); fifth declension

  1. republic, commonwealth, the state
    • 63 BCE, Cicero, Catiline Orations (Latin text and English translations here)
      O di immortales, ubinam gentium sumus? Quam rem publicam habemus? In qua urbe vivimus?.
      O ye immortal gods, where on earth are we? In what city are we living? What is the government we have?
    Magna fides in multis civibus huius rei publicae nunc inveniri potest.
    Great fidelity can now be found in many citizens of this commonwealth.
    Quis jussit illam rem publicam servitute liberari?
    Who ordered that republic to be liberated from slavery?
    Ubi tyrannus est, ibi plane est nulla res publica.
    Where there is a tyrant, there is clearly no republic.
    Contra alias manus malorum civium eaedem res parabuntur; rem publicam defendemus et isti cito discedent.
    These things will be procured in spite of the bands of bad citizens; we will defend the republic and those men will depart quickly.
    Hanc rem publicam salvam esse volumus.
    We wish this republic to be safe.


First declension and Fifth declension.

Number Singular Plural
nominative rēs pūblica rēs pūblicae
genitive reī pūblicae rērum pūblicārum
dative reī pūblicae rēbus pūblicīs
accusative rem pūblicam rēs pūblicās
ablative rē pūblicā rēbus pūblicīs
vocative rēs pūblica rēs pūblicae