Virtus, the Roman Deity (sometimes god, sometimes goddess)

I was going to do a post on Fortitude as a Roman correlate to the modern virtue of Courage. Then I realized that while this is a perfectly common gloss in translation, in reality the virtue of Courage as it’s commonly thought of today falls more into the realm of Virtus.

Fortitude implies a courage of the sort of a steadfastness of character which is perhaps closer to the Roman virtue of Severitas, while Virtus is about valor, excellence, and the like.  I suppose that Virtus is probably a bit less palatable to a modern audience because of the “vir” thing (manliness), but I think, as a feminist, that I can support manliness both in myself and others.

The Virtus form of Courage is important because it is vital; it is the courage to act. If we are going to be the heroes of our own stories and accomplish what we need with our lives, we need the Virtus sort of courage along with the Fortitude sort to help us stay the course. Perhaps for our modern lives what we need is a blend of Virtus and Fortitude.



  1. April 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    […] I was going to put Fortitudo/Courage together, but instead ended up writing about why that didn’t quite work. […]

  2. June 22, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    […] Fortitude – Virtus – Courage ( […]

  3. July 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm

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