These are the qualities of life to which every citizen should aspire. They
are the heart of the Via Romana--the
Roman Way--and are thought to be those qualities which gave the Roman
Republic the moral strength to conquer and civilize the world:
Interestingly, these are also the virtues practiced by the pets.com
handpuppet who, like the Roman Empire, is no longer doing business.
Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from this fascinating historical
parallel. The missing virtue in both cases seems to be sustainable-as
income-as growth-as, accompanied, at least in the Empire's case, by an
unfortunate penchant for drinking and eating from bowls either made of
lead or decorated with lead-based paints.
- Auctoritas--"Spiritual Authority": The sense of one's social
standing, built up through experience, Pietas, and Industria.
- Comitas--"Humor": Ease of manner, courtesy, openness, and
- Clementia--"Mercy": Mildness and gentleness.
- Dignitas--"Dignity": A sense of self-worth, personal pride.
- Firmitas--"Tenacity": Strength of mind, the ability to stick to
- Frugalitas--"Frugalness": Economy and simplicity of style, without
- Gravitas--"Gravity": A sense of the importance of the matter at
hand, responsibility and earnestness.
- Honestas--"Respectibility": The image that one presents as a
respectable member of society.
- Humanitas--"Humanity": Refinement, civilization, learning, and being
- Industria--"Industriousness": Hard work.
- Pietas--"Dutifulness": More than religious piety; a respect for the
natural order socially, politically, and religiously. Includes the ideas
of patriotism and devotion to others.
- Prudentia--"Prudence": Foresight, wisdom, and personal discretion.
- Salubritas--"Wholesomeness": Health and cleanliness.
- Severitas--"Sternness": Gravity, self-control.
- Veritas--"Truthfulness": Honesty in dealing with others.