Religious Studies 21 (2):181-203 (1985)

Courage is a basic virtue to any heroic society. It is the defining virtue of the aristocratic warrior in the Iliad. It came with a set of other related virtues, all functioning in a social setting unique to that heroic era. However, as society evolved beyond the heroics of war to the civility of settled city–states, courage would be reviewed and redefined. In fact the whole virtue complex would undergo fundamental changes. Still later, when from out of the cities philosophers rose, they would, in their commitment to a higher justice or righteousness than what the city had to offer to date, submit courage to a third critique and transformation. We see this in Greece; we may also see it in China.
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412500017182
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