is a Latin
word, used by the Roman
as a salutation
, meaning "hail
". It is the singular imperative
form of the verb avēre
, which meant "to be well"; thus one could translate it literally as "be well" or "farewell".
The Classical Latin pronunciation of ave
was . In Church Latin, it is ideally , and in English, it tends to be .
The term was notably used to greet the Caesar
or other authorities. Suetonius
recorded that on one occasion, naumachiarii
—captives and criminals fated to die fighting during mock naval encounters—addressed Caesar with the words Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutant!
("Hail, Caesar! Those who are about to die salute you!") in an attempt to avoid death. The expression is not recorded as being used in Roman times on any other occasion.
version of the Annunciation
translates the salute of the angel to Mary, Mother of Jesus
as Ave Maria, gratia plena
("Hail Mary, full of grace").Ave Maria
is a Catholic Marian prayer that also has inspired authors of religious music.Fascist
regimes during the 20th century also adopted the greeting. It was used during Nazi Germany
in the indirect German