I know it's very little to go on, but I've had the Latin phrase nihil superbus, meaning 'nothing above us' knocking around my head for a while now but can't place it.

It appears in some book within the context of an extract from a (fictional) old text (possibly Biblical/fake-Biblical) at the end of the passage, with an English translation given (though that might have been in archaic English). I think it was used as an epigraph, or epigraphically at the end of the story.

*I'm aware that this isn't an accurate translation but I feel like that was what was given.

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    "Nihil superbus" actually means "nothing arrogant." "Nothing above us" would be "Nihil super nobis."
    – jwodder
    Aug 25, 2019 at 17:49
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    This is off-topic if there weren’t any science fiction or fantasy elements in the book. Aug 25, 2019 at 18:01
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    Flagged for reopening; the OP has confirmed the answer is from HPMOR which is on-topic.
    – K-H-W
    Aug 25, 2019 at 20:25
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    @Stormblessed, the OP has confirmed this is HPMOR, and therefore on-topic. Aug 25, 2019 at 20:43
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    @dbmag9 okay; you'd be surprised how many very clearly off-topic story-IDs we get here Aug 25, 2019 at 23:31

1 Answer 1


If you are missremembering it a bit, you could be thinking of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.

From Godric Griffindor's short autobiography is the following quote:

Non est salvatori salvator,
neque defensori dominus,
nec pater nec mater,
nihil supernum.

- Godric Gryffindor,
1202 C.E.

Translated to:

No rescuer hath the rescuer,
no Lord hath the champion,
no mother and no father,
only nothingness above.

The English is actually given during the main part of the page with the original text at the end.

  • 1
    The key phrase also appears on the Sword of Gryffindor, and is mistranslated by Harry as "nothing better". Aug 25, 2019 at 18:15
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    This was it – I was sure it was a book (I was thinking in a Pullman/Gaiman sort of direction) so don't think it would have occurred to me otherwise. Thank you!
    – dbmag9
    Aug 25, 2019 at 19:17

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