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Basic moral values of ancient Romans

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

A bust of an elderly man - the so-called patrician Torlonia. Dated to the  1st century CE
A bust of an elderly man - the so-called patrician Torlonia. Dated to the 1st century CE

During the republic, in the 2nd century BCE have developed and fully formed the basic moral values of the ancient Romans. The most important feature was virtus (virtue). It meant a behaviour worthy of a real man (vir), according to the rules of law and honour, the ability to distinguish what is good from what is bad. It is also “setting boundaries and restraint to your desires”, as Gaius Lucilius – a friend of Scipio Aemilianus wrote.

The second value was pietas, which meant respect for the homeland and family. Fides, in turn, was synonymous with mutual trust, loyalty and keeping the word. It was these Roman moral values that formed the binder connecting the people, proud of their greatness and freedom.

  • Robert Jean-Noël, Rzym. Przewodnik po cywilizacji, Vizja Press AND IT Ltd., Warszawa 2007

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