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Sins (Vices) and Virtues


Back to Paradoxplace Medieval Christian Church Pages


Link to photos of zodiacs, labour of the month, sins and virtues representations in England, France and Italy.




Cardinal Virtues (Plato)


courage (fortitude)





Theological Virtues (St-Paul)




love (charity)



Seven Deadly Sins and Contrary (Remedial) Virtues (Prudentius c410)


Spiritial Sins

Remedial Virtues

pride (vanity)






Corporal Sins

Remedial Virtues



lust (sexual greed) (Luxuria)


greed (avarice) (Avaritia)

generosity (liberality)




Two of the most pervasive themes of Romanesque bas reliefs were in your face reminders of the horror of the Corporal Sins of greed / avarice (avaritia) and lust / sexual greed (luxuria).  See for example the portal reliefs at Moissac.  More optimistic, and unsurprisingly more rare, was the juxtapositioning of sins and virtues as seen at Autun and Canterbury.  More to come ...




South portal reliefs illustrating avaritia (centre) and luxuria (right) in the Abbey Church of St Pierre, Beaulieu sur Dordogne




Abbaye St-Pierre de Moissac - Avaritia


Deathbed purging (or possibly ingesting a leg) - the point is that the money bag of greed and avarice does not seem to be helping much.

Note the elf pennanted hemline on the right, a common feature of the devil people's hemlines in Romanesque France..




Punishment for Sodomy - originally on the west facade of Lincoln Cathedral




For more advanced hunters - Luxuria in the roundels of Canterbury Cathedral




Vatican Update - March 2008

(BBC News Site - 10 March 2008)


Thou shalt not do

Remedial Virtues


Environmental pollution


Apparently no suggestions from the Vatican here - maybe the institutional church has finally outed itself as only being interested in sin (albeit now mainly institutional sin - individuals have dropped off the radar as well, which could be said to be just an accurate reflection of worldly reality!).


Genetic Manipulation

Accumulating excessive wealth

Inflicting Poverty

Drug trafficking and consumption

Morally debateable experiments

Violation of fundamental rights of human nature



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