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Ancient Rome and Bravery

BRAVERY what is the first thing that comes to mind when the word bravery is said? For most people a war hero or a superhero comes into their minds. Probably every language has a word for bravery, but there is only one true meaning. The word bravery is “showing a brave spirit or courage”(Random, p. 164) when hard times are thrust upon or happen to them. Bravery is not only what people do, but how they do it. The concept is also “showiness, splendor, and magnificence”(Random, p. 164).

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Bravery may be shown in different ways: a person may jump from a plane or walk on fire to show that he/she is truly brave.

Then again, sometimes bravery is something that a person has inside him or her and is never shown as an action at all. For thousands of years, people have used words that describe the concept of bravery. The history, or etymology, of the English word bravery is as follows. The word originated in Latin as barbarous. The Romans who spoke Latin were warriors so it is logical they would have a word that talked about their courageous actions. The Vulgar Latin, which was spoken Latin, was transformed by Middle French in the middle Ages as well as by Middle English.

This form of English was what was spoken in the 12th to 15thcenturies. From the Middle English evolved the English we speak today and with it, the word bravery. Throughout history, people have talked about the concept of bravery in many ways. The Greek writer and philosopher Euripides said, “The man who knows when not to act is wise. To my mind, bravery is forethought” (Euripides, p. 11). In the Middle Ages, George II of England said that “bravery never goes out of fashion” (George, p. 261). Later, Francoise de la Rockefoucould said, “True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable

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