Talk:Virtus (virtue)

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I don't know, why this page only received a "C". It's great. This article should have an "A". Nice greetings jojo.-- (talk) 02:24, 19 January 2010 (UTC)


I reorganised it as best I can. Added a section Virtus and its central place in Roman political philosophy at the front and put the material there that I think best illustrates the concept. I combined the remaining text into mostly existing sections and eliminated some - but not all - of the duplication. I think what I've done provides a good skeleton for the future development of the article. The section How was it used still needs extensive editing to avoid repetition and improve the flow. GermanicusCaesar (talk) 07:10, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

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I am interested in this topic because of its apparent contrast with "Abrahamic" religious ideals .... of Judaism (one who studies; keeps the Law; practices lovingkindess) .... of Christianity (one who is humble; who serves, not commands; gentle, meek and mild) .... of Islam (compassion; charity). These may be caricatures, but the point is that the kind of pride and self-assertion associated with the pagan (Greek) ideal are simultaneously admired and disparaged because they exhibit both such vitality -- and such arrogance; because they comes from a tradition (Hellenic) that we embrace, and they conflict with a tradition (Judeo-Christian; Abrahamic) whose different ideals of virtue we have believed in for 2,000 years -- the negation of "paganism."

I have heard "virtus" mentioned as a central feature of Jacobean drama. As what Nietzsche meant. As the "existentialist" ideal. As the Aynn Rand hero.

But it has never been clear to me just how the 'virtue' of "virtus" was to be fully understood or enfolded into a moral point of view which also privileges humility - and equality. Yet the absence of vitality and ... is it pride or self-respect or what? ... in an individual produces the shadow of a man, not someone with "blood in her veins."

I am not up to the task of either understanding or integrating these warring traditions of the virtuous, ideal human being. But I hope somebody is. DavidDavid46228 (talk) 05:20, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

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I removed the following two sentences because they are not true: "Virtus, for the Roman, did not carry the same overtones as the Christian 'virtue'.[original research?] But like the Greek andreia, virtus has a primary meaning of 'acting like a man' (vir) (cf. the Renaissance virtù), and for the Romans this meant first and foremost 'acting like a brave man in military matters'." First, the primarily military virtue was fortitude, which is only one out of four classes of virtues. It is therefore wrong that virtus to Romans pertained "first and foremost" to military matters. Second, drawing a sharp distinction against the Christian term "virtue" is also somewhat misguided, as the Summa Theologica includes seven virtues, four of which are, the Roman (or, properly, Aristotle) virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance, cf. virtue ethics. Narssarssuaq (talk) 17:56, 21 July 2012 (UTC) In general, the article in a few places seems to confuse fortitude (i.e. one part of virtus) with the concept of virtus as a whole (which also includes temperance, justice and wisdom/prudence).Narssarssuaq (talk) 18:27, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Relation to other virtues[edit]

We need more on how virtus relates to other Roman deities/virtues. Is it an umbrella term for all deities/virtues?Narssarssuaq (talk) 18:30, 21 July 2012 (UTC)