Dante’s PURGATORY, Canto 1: Four Cardinal Virtues






Dante sees four stars

The four cardinal virtues

Adam saw them clearly


NOTE: Dante sees the four stars that the first man, Adam, saw clearly, and no man since him has ever seen so clearly. These four stars, which can be clearly seen from the Forest of Eden, are Prudence, Temperance, Justice, and Fortitude. They are the four cardinal virtues. A person who has Prudence is able to judge which of a number of actions is the correct action to pursue. A person who has Temperance is able to practice self-control when self-control is needed. A person who has Justice is able to correctly balance his or her own self-interest with the needs of others, and a person who has Courage is able to conquer fear so that he or she can do the right thing. Virtuous pagans such as Virgil have the cardinal virtues.




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