October 30, 2021

The Virtues of Manliness

Andrei Piriutko

Masculinity isn’t toxic.
The absence of it is.
Weak men are abusive and spiteful.
Strong, masculine men are protective and loving.

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:

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 friendliness.

Clementia--"Mercy": Mildness and gentleness.

Dignitas--"Dignity": A sense of self-worth, personal pride.

Firmitas--"Tenacity": Strength of mind, the ability to stick to one's purpose.

Frugalitas--"Frugalness": Economy and simplicity of style, without being miserly.

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 cultured.

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.

Virtus (Classical Latin: [ˈwɪrt̪uːs̠]) was a specific virtue in Ancient Rome. It carries connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors, and was personified as a deity—Virtus.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:37 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 My maternal grandmother was a product of the Deep South, having grown up on a plantation near Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana. Yes, there was a good bit about that culture than was awful, but there was much that should be cherished and admired.

Deeply embedded in that culture was a tradition of courtesy, which was not reserved for friends but was extended to strangers and, even more importantly, to adversaries and even enemies. For all of the racism that existed, it was all but unheard of in the true Deep South to be rude to a person of color. Only "poor white trash” did that kind of thing, and they were rude to white people as well, so…

She taught me the root words that went into the definition of "gentleman.” It is, she said, a person who is gentle and who is a man. In those days being a man had a very well defined meaning, among which was strength, courage, and the absolute dedication to protecting women from any kind of harm.

Posted by: Bill H at October 30, 2021 09:54 AM (/sW5m)

2 I couldn't have said it better myself, Bill. Especially the part about the white trash, a few of whom I grew up with but didn't let them influence my thinking.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at October 30, 2021 08:35 PM (6H7jI)

3 Nailed it Bill. Courtesy has pretty much died with the death of the Old South, as has chivalry. We lost a lot by losing that.

There is a reason why Canada is known for politeness; it was to avoid trouble between the English, the Americans who came after the Revolution, and the French there. They were forced by necessity to develop a culture that put a high emphasis on civility. The Old South was much like that too. The North was settled by wave after wave of immigrant from different places and they never really developed the sense of community and the corresponding civil behavior.  The attitude in the northeast is basically "screw 'em all".

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at October 31, 2021 08:54 AM (HsSz+)

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