Arguing that virtus was not in essence a moral concept myles mcdonnell shows how the semantic range of the word together with the manly ideal that it embodied were altered by greek cultural ideas and how roman manliness was contested in the religion culture and politics of the late republic. Virtus and early latin pp 12 16 plautus and roman comedy pp 16 33 early latin inscriptions pp 33 43 early latin epic tragedy and history pp 44 50 m porcius cato pp 50 59 virtus and martial courage in the middle republic pp 59 71 hellenization and apet semantic borrowing bilingualism and semantic calque pp 72 84 . Virtus in the roman world generality specificity and fluidity abstract virtus in the roman world was often cited by the romans themselves to be their defining attribute that allowed them to conquer the mediterranean virtus meaning changed throughout the roman republic as
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