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Gravitas was one of the Roman virtues,[1] along with pietas, dignitas, and virtus, that were particularly appreciated in leaders. Evidence shows that it was most likely influenced by the Greek virtue of Arete. It may be translated variously as weight, seriousness, dignity, and importance and connotes a certain substance or depth of personality. It also conveys a sense of responsibility and commitment to the task.[1] In the British education system, gravitas was seen as one of the pillars of the moral formation of the English gentleman during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.[2][3]

In the UK House of Commons, the quality is known as "bottom".[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Apuzzo, L.J.; Michael, M.D. (August 2006). "Gravitas, Severitas, Veritas, Virtus". Neurosurgery. 59 (2): 219. doi:10.1227/00006123-200608000-00001. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  2. ^ Hingley, Richard (1996). "The 'legacy' of Rome: the rise, decline, and fall of the theory of Romanization". Roman imperialism : post-colonial perspectives. Leicester Archaeology Monographs. Webster, J.; Cooper, N. (3): 37. ISBN 0951037765. The men of the ruling upper and upper-middle classes were educated in a public school system where Classical language and literature formed basic elements of the curriculum. Greek and Roman concepts, in particular the significant Roman concept of gravitas, played a fundamental role in the formation of the character of the English gentleman (Mason 1982, 22).
  3. ^ Mason, Philip (1982). The English Gentleman: The Rise and Fall of an Ideal. p. 22.
  4. ^ Austin Mitchell, Sharon Goulds (1982), Westminster Man: A Tribal Anthropology of the Commons People, Thames Methuen, pp. 250, 271, ISBN 9780423003802