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Re: [eldil] definition of virtue?

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  • Dan Drake
    ... It s useful to be reminded of that poem, which I have always found loathsome since I first heard any of it beyond the first two lines, with their clever,
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 10, 2013
      On Apr 9, 2013, at 8:56 PM, Steve Hayes wrote:

      > That, I suspect, reflects the pagan notion of heroic virtue, or virtuous
      > heroism, untempered by any Christian notions of mercy.
      >
      > In effect, it is a glorification of armed robbery, which, in the eyes of the
      > narrator of the poem at least, is virtuous.

      It's useful to be reminded of that poem, which I have always found loathsome since I first heard any of it beyond the first two lines, with their clever, jolly-rogue quality. ("What? The guy is SERIOUS?" Sheeesh!" IMHO.)

      But there seems to be another thread to this matter, which hasn't been touched on. It's an account that I picked up a number of years ago, from a couple of sources, though I can't recall which, and it also seems to be just in the air to some extent.

      In this account the whole Chivalric Ideal is a more or less conscious attempt to get at the ruffians, bold in battle and highly skilled, who dominated Europe in the early Middle Ages, and civilize them by imbuing them with Christian virtue. If this is accurate, the effort certainly succeeded on a literary level, and probably on a practical one as well. As to at least the part of the ideal that constituted romanic love, I recall something of the sort from C. S. Lewis; but I don't remember whether he said much of the matter of valor, which concerns us here.

      Am I missing the obvious, or stating the too obvious, or maybe both?


      --
      Dan Drake
      dd@...
      http://www.dandrake.com/index.html
    • Steve Hayes
      ... No, I think it s an interesting point. If you read Charles Williams s book on Witchcraft you can see how the pagan Germans used to burn suspected witches
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 10, 2013
        On 10 Apr 2013 at 10:44, Dan Drake wrote:

        >
        > On Apr 9, 2013, at 8:56 PM, Steve Hayes wrote:
        >
        > > That, I suspect, reflects the pagan notion of heroic virtue, or virtuous
        > > heroism, untempered by any Christian notions of mercy.
        > >
        > > In effect, it is a glorification of armed robbery, which, in the eyes of the
        > > narrator of the poem at least, is virtuous.
        >
        > It's useful to be reminded of that poem, which I have always found loathsome
        > since I first heard any of it beyond the first two lines, with their clever,
        > jolly-rogue quality. ("What? The guy is SERIOUS?" Sheeesh!" IMHO.)
        >
        > But there seems to be another thread to this matter, which hasn't been touched
        > on. It's an account that I picked up a number of years ago, from a couple of
        > sources, though I can't recall which, and it also seems to be just in the air
        > to some extent.
        >
        > In this account the whole Chivalric Ideal is a more or less conscious attempt
        > to get at the ruffians, bold in battle and highly skilled, who dominated
        > Europe in the early Middle Ages, and civilize them by imbuing them with
        > Christian virtue. If this is accurate, the effort certainly succeeded on a
        > literary level, and probably on a practical one as well. As to at least the
        > part of the ideal that constituted romanic love, I recall something of the
        > sort from C. S. Lewis; but I don't remember whether he said much of the matter
        > of valor, which concerns us here.
        >
        > Am I missing the obvious, or stating the too obvious, or maybe both?

        No, I think it's an interesting point.

        If you read Charles Williams's book on "Witchcraft" you can see how the pagan
        Germans used to burn suspected witches because they thought they were
        incorrigible. Christianising them inculcated a more merciful attitude, and
        punished witchcraft accusations as much as the deed. That lasted about 5
        centuries, just about until the height of the age of chivalry, perhaps. Then
        it suddenly broke down in the Great European Witch Hunt which really got
        going in the 15th century -- wasn't that about the time Malory et al were
        writing about chivalry?




        --
        Steve Hayes
        E-mail: shayes@...
        Blog: http://khanya.wordpress.com
        Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
        Fax: 086-548-2525
      • Dan Drake
        ... Now there s a connection I never made. Along with a major rise of Inquisitions, for which there are some obvious historical reasons (purging Spain of the
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 10, 2013
          On Apr 10, 2013, at 11:21 AM, Steve Hayes wrote:

          > Then
          > it suddenly broke down in the Great European Witch Hunt which really got
          > going in the 15th century -- wasn't that about the time Malory et al were
          > writing about chivalry?

          Now there's a connection I never made. Along with a major rise of Inquisitions, for which there are some obvious historical reasons (purging Spain of the Paynim Horde; Luther; Gutenberg; etc etc). Connections among all these are well beyond me to analyze, though.

          --
          Dan Drake
          dd@...
          http://www.dandrake.com/index.html
        • Graham Darling
          See C.S. Lewis The Necessity of Chivalry , originally /Time and Tide/, 1940-08-17, vol 21, p 841; reprinted in /Present Concerns/, 1986, p 13;
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 10, 2013
            See C.S. Lewis "The Necessity of Chivalry", originally Time and Tide, 1940-08-17, vol 21, p 841; reprinted in Present Concerns, 1986, p 13; http://www.amazon.com/dp/0156027852/ref=cm_sw_su_dp#reader_0156027852 .

            The Four Cardinal Virtues (common to all humanity: see Plato The Republic,
            Steph 427ff) are Justice, Prudence (Wisdom), Temperance (Self-Mastery) and Fortitude.

            The Three Theological Virtues (special to Christians) are Faith, Hope and Love (Charity).

            On 2013-04-10 10:44 , Dan Drake wrote:
            On Apr 9, 2013, at 8:56 PM, Steve Hayes wrote:
            
            
            That, I suspect, reflects the pagan notion of heroic virtue, or virtuous 
            heroism, untempered by any Christian notions of mercy. 
            
            In effect, it is a glorification of armed robbery, which, in the eyes of the 
            narrator of the poem at least, is virtuous.
            
            It's useful to be reminded of that poem, which I have always found loathsome since I first heard any of it beyond the first two lines, with their clever, jolly-rogue quality. ("What? The guy is SERIOUS?" Sheeesh!" IMHO.) 
            
            But there seems to be another thread to this matter, which hasn't been touched on. It's an account that I picked up a number of years ago, from a couple of sources, though I can't recall which, and it also seems to be just in the air to some extent.
            
            In this account the whole Chivalric Ideal is a more or less conscious attempt to get at the ruffians, bold in battle and highly skilled, who dominated Europe in the early Middle Ages, and civilize them by imbuing them with Christian virtue. If this is accurate, the effort certainly succeeded on a literary level, and probably on a practical one as well. As to at least the part of the ideal that constituted romanic love, I recall something of the sort from C. S. Lewis; but I don't remember whether he said much of the matter of valor, which concerns us here.
            
            Am I missing the obvious, or stating the too obvious, or maybe both?
            -GD
            -- 
            
            Mr. Graham Darling, PhD
            1007-D Gilmore Ave.
            Burnaby, BC   V5C 4S4
            Canada
            
            Phone 778-836-7122
            Email darlingg@...
            
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