Roman and American Values Essay

Roman Virtues

Roman virtues are essential not only to the people of Rome but also to all human beings worldwide. I arranged these virtues in my own perspective wherein number 1 is the most significant and number 15 is the least significant: 1) pietas, 2) dignitas, 3) veritas, 4) industria, 5) comitas, 6) fides, 7) frugalitas, 9) prudential, 10) severitas, 11) clementia, 12) humanitas, 13) honestas, 14) constatinum and 15) auctoritas.

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As a person who has a strong faith in God, I have no doubt of choosing pietas as the number one in my list because piousness or duty to God is very important. We have to place God in the center of our life; think of Him first before anything else. Next is dignitas or self-respect. Romans are known to value their dignity that they fought wars and battles for it. Since I treasure human dignity as any Roman does –though I haven’t fought a battle yet– I place this virtue second on my list. Third, veritas or truthfulness is one virtue that everybody, not only the Romans, must possess. Veritas fosters and nurtures friendship; it makes people to trust somebody. Fourth is industria or industriousness.  It is one characteristic I cannot live without as I believe we can achieve a lot if we work hard. Fifth is comitas or light manner and friendliness. I believe that a person should be humorous sometimes and displays a friendly face especially when dealing with others. A vibrant person is more approachable and easier to be with than a stern or serious person. Comitas is also important to me because laughter is good to the health.

            As I write, I am not aware that my choices are conforming to the Christian norm. I choose them not because I have to but it is what my inner-being dictates me. It is not being idealistic but rather being unconsciously naturalistic. I choose what fits me. I believe that many, if not all, agree that I place pietas in the top spot not because it is hard to argue when it comes to God but it is just right. Again, the Christian in me declares to put God above all.

As for the bottom five, I choose them because either my concept is different from the Romans’ or they are simply not as important as the other virtues. In number 11, the Romans possess the virtue of clementia or mildness towards their vanquished enemies. Personally, I am not quite sure about being gentle with the enemy. I know that they feel the same towards me. Perhaps it is more appropriate not to be mild but to be cautious towards the enemies, conquered or not. The next two virtues, humanitas( refinement) and honestas ( respectable image one wants to present in the society), do not have that great impact on me. Many men became great without the taunted refinement and learning offered by civilization. Jesus Christ was the greatest man who set foot on earth yet most people back then, especially the hypocrites, did not give Him respect. Instead, as we all know, He was scrutinized severely, misjudged, ridiculed and nailed on the cross. Meanwhile, the ancient Romans were focused on expanding their military forces for defensive and offensive purposes; so it is only logical that their concept of constatinum is directed to the development of stamina and endurance of their army. Since I am not in the military, I place constantinum in the bottom five. Finally, auctoritas or the general level of prestige one has in the society is the least important virtue in my list. I do not totally agree with this as I believe in equality regardless of race or stature. Besides, I hate antagonizing people.

In broader concepts, all these Roman virtues are actually functionally useful in developing one’s personality. Except for the pietas, perhaps the two virtues that I find difficult to place are salubritas and severitas. Originally, I consider salubritas a lesser trait because health has nothing to do with character-development; but then, this is relevant as people regard highly a healthy and wholesome person. On the other hand, I see severitas as rigid that may intimidate people but, later on, realizes that sternness is vital to command respect from others. Since these two cannot equal the importance of the top five, they are placed in the middle instead.

Reference:

Davis, Kelvin and Smith, Amy. Values Clarification. Retrieved April 9, 2009 from

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