Coactus volui

"Coactus volui," the obscure Latin phrase that the madman Farrell mutters from bared teeth in Wandering Rocks, has a paradoxical meaning: "Having been forced, I was willing." It comes from Justinian's Institutes, one section of an immense codification of existing Roman law called the Corpus Juris Civilis that the Byzantine Emperor Justinian commissioned in the 6th century. Farrell's quotation suggests a preoccupation with the law that is both learned and maddening. 

John Hunt 2024

Title page of the 1592 edition of Justinian's Institutes published in Venice.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.