‘The 100’ Season 5 Episode 9: What Does ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’ Mean?

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The 100

Tonight we finally get to see a new episode of The 100 after that crazy ending before the hiatus. Bellamy finally took responsibility for Octavia and her actions, but will he have to pay a price for what he did? And how is everything going to play out with the prison crew? We were also left with a heart-wrenching scene between Raven and Abby. No matter how much pain Abby’s in, it’s tough to sympathize when you see the emotional turmoil that she put Raven through.

Season 5 Episode 9 is titled “Sic Semper Tyrannis.” What does this mean? You might be surprised to learn that the phrase “Sic Semper Tyrannis” actually has an intense history behind it.  The phrase, in Latin, means “Thus always to tyrants.”

Some myths claim that Brutus said the phrase to Julius Caesar during Caesar’s assassination. However, Plutarch disputes this, saying that Brutus didn’t have a chance to say anything.

More famously, John Wilkes Booth is believed to have said the phrase after he shot Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Booth wrote in his diary that he said the phrase because of its association with Caesar’s assassination. The phrase was also part of a pro-Confederate Civil War song, popular with people who sympathized with the South. This might also be where Booth knew the phrase. (The song, with the phrase, is the official state song of Maryland.) The phrase is also the motto of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

But the phrase’s crazy history doesn’t end there. Timothy McVeigh was wearing a T-shirt with this phrase on it (and a picture of Lincoln) when he was arrested for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

The phrase also just happens to be the motto of Virginia. During the Civil War, a joke circulated that the phrase meant “Get your foot off my neck.” The phrase was also the motto of a Navy attack submarine, the USS Virginia, and it was the motto of the nuclear-powered cruiser, the USS Virginia. (Could that imply connections to Diyoza, who was once in the Navy?)

On The 100, perhaps the phrase will be a reference to Octavia, who became somewhat of a tyrant before Bellamy felt that he needed to step in. Some fans predicted she would evolve this way, even all the way back in episode 2 of this season. Or maybe there will be other tyrants among the prison crew who need to be fought back. (Obviously not Diyoza, but maybe some others will try to assassinate her.) Interestingly, the last episode was titled “How We Get to Peace.” Perhaps the answer is by putting aside tyrants.

Or perhaps Bellamy is simply playing the role of Brutus to Octavia’s Caesar. If you recall, while they were in the bunker we saw Octavia reading Ovids Metamorphosis, written by a Roman poet.

The synopsis for tonight’s episode reads: “The growing fractures in Wonkru threaten to explode once and for all; Murphy starts a fire, unleashing catastrophic results.” 

How do you think the phrase relates to the show? Let us know in the comments below.

What does Sic Sempter Tyrannis mean and how does it relate to tonight’s episode of The 100?

What does Sic Sempter Tyrannis mean and how does it relate to tonight’s episode of The 100?

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