Gaius Mucius Scaevola plunges his hand into a fire to prove to the Clusian king the fortitude of the Romans.Definition and Explanation

  1. Catechism of the Catholic Church, point 1808: "Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good."
  2. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae, IIaIIae, question 123:
            • Fortitude is the virtue by which man overcomes his will's disinclination to pursue that which is in accord with reason on account of some difficulty.
            • Fortitude is the perfection of the irascible appetite, which is the sensitive appetite that overcomes difficulties in choosing good or avoiding evil.
            • There is fortitude both of mind and of body, since difficulties must be overcome in pursuing bodily and mental goods.
  3. Aristotle's Rhetoric, Book I, Chapter 9:
            • "Courage is the virtue that disposes men to do noble deeds in situations of danger, in accordance with the law and in obedience to its commands."


Examples from Western History and Literature