Definitions for aretology
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word aretology
that part of moral philosophy which treats of virtue, its nature, and the means of attaining to it.
that part of moral philosophy which treats of virtue, its nature, and the means of attaining to it
Origin: [Gr. ; virtue + discourse, to speak: cf. F. artologie.]
An aretology in the strictest sense is a narrative about a divine figure's miraculous deeds. In the Greco-Roman world, aretologies represent a religious branch of rhetoric and are a prose development of the hymn as praise poetry. Asclepius, Isis, and Serapis are among the deities with surviving aretologies in the form of inscriptions and papyri. The Greek aretologos was a temple official who recounted aretologies, and who might also interpret dreams. By extension, an aretology is also a "catalogue of virtues" belonging to a person; for example, Cicero's list and description of the virtues of Pompeius Magnus in the speech Pro Lege Manilia. Aretology became part of the Christian rhetorical tradition of hagiography. In an even more expanded sense, aretology is moral philosophy which deals with virtue, its nature, and the means of arriving at it. It is the title of an ethical tract by Robert Boyle published in the 1640s.
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