Being a Man

The Roman "Virtus" as a Contribution to Moral Philosophy

by Juhani Sarsila (Author)
©2006 Monographs 248 Pages


This study approaches virtus as a moral value concept. The author argues that it is only through conceptual analysis that the meaning and value of virtus are given adequate illustration, and that philology should be regarded as a part of practical philosophy. The study covers Roman literature from the beginnings until Livy. During the Roman Republican Age, virtus was considered a man’s contribution to his society and state, in terms of collectivism. Virtus (‘manliness’) was thought to be more real than any of its particular and transitory representations, i.e. individual male citizens. On the other hand, as an existentialist value concept, virtus at a relatively early stage denoted a man’s intrinsic or ontic value or his true self, without regard to any worldly success whatsoever. The final analysis shows that virtus (‘virtue’) is congruous with or even synonymous to individualism. This book also presents a contribution to gender studies from the standpoint of a man.


ISBN (Softcover)
Römisches Reich Ethik Geschichte 300 v. Chr.-50 Virtue Ethic Early Roman Comedy Moral Philosophy Virility Military Efficiency Virtus
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2006. 248 pp., 1 fig.

Biographical notes

Juhani Sarsila (Author)

The Author: Juhani Sarsila teaches Latin and history at the University of Tampere, with particular emphasis on the history of ideas and learning, and philosophical humanism, or existentialism. He has published various monographs and articles on early Finnish nationalism, the role of forgery in history, and rhetoric.


Title: Being a Man