Dante’s Inferno, Canto 26: pietas

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PIETAS

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Respect for one’s wife

Respect for one’s old father

Respect for one’s son

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NOTE: Pietas is a Roman virtue that consists of duty and respect. A virtuous person does his duty to and shows respect for his spouse, parents, and children — also, God and country. Ulysses did not have pietas. He was away from home for the ten years of the Trojan War, and it took him ten more years to get back home after the war ended. But he quickly got bored and left home to seek more adventures, although he should have stayed home and taken care of his wife, his aged father, and his son. (His mother had earlier died out of grief for him.)

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