02. Society and Values

02. Society and Values - Classics 2123: The Roman Way...

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Classics 2123: The Roman Way Spring 2008 Lecture 2: Roman Society and Roman Values Readings: BHR 129-131; Shelton 128, 163-4, 171, 194-5, 197 Roman Values and Virtues Roman virtues public, not private: virtuous man acts on behalf of the state Virtus : derived from vir (man, i.e., male): virtus is the quality that makes a man a man; for the Romans, this was the winning of pre-eminence and glory by performing great deeds in the service of the Roman state Fides : not ‘faith’ but ‘good faith’, ‘trustworthiness’, keeping one’s word Pietas : not ‘piety’ but ‘dutifulness’: knowing one’s obligations and fulfilling them Gravitas : seriousness of life and character Constantia : fixedness of purpose, even when difficulties arise Members of the elite sought to maintain and increase their dignitas (standing) and to win for themselves auctoritas (influence) Rome a conservative society that sought to maintain mos maiorum , ‘the ways of our ancestors’, ‘custom’, ‘precedent’. Romans constantly looked to the past for guidance and
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course CLA 2123 taught by Professor Wise during the Spring '08 term at FSU.

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