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Seven deadly sins


The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices of Christian origin. Behaviors or habits are classified under this category if they directly give birth to other immoralities. According to the standard list, they are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth, which are also contrary to the seven virtues. These sins are often thought to be abuses or excessive versions of one's natural faculties or passions (for example, gluttony abuses one's desire to eat).

This classification originated with the desert fathers, especially Evagrius Ponticus, who identified seven or eight evil thoughts or spirits that one needed to overcome. Evagrius' pupil John Cassian, with his book The Institutes, brought the classification to Europe, where it became fundamental to Catholic confessional practices as evident in penitential manuals, sermons like "The Parson's Tale" from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and artworks like Dante's Purgatory (where the penitents of Mount Purgatory are depicted as being grouped and penanced according to the worst capital sin they committed). The Church used the doctrine of the deadly sins in order to help people stop their inclination towards evil before dire consequences and misdeeds occur; the leader-teachers especially focused on pride (which is thought to be the one that severs the soul from Grace, and one that is representative and the very essence of all evil) and greed, both of which are seen as inherently sinful and as underlying all other sins (although greed, when viewed just by itself and discounting all the sins it might lead to, is generally thought be less serious than sloth). To inspire people to focus on the seven deadly sins, the vices are discussed in treatises, and depicted in paintings and sculpture decorations on churches.Peter Brueghel the Elder's prints of the Seven Deadly Sins and extremely numerous other works, both non-religious and religious, show the continuity of this practice in the culture and everyday life of the modern era.


Vice Latin Virtue Latin
Lust Luxuria Chastity Castitas
Gluttony Gula Temperance Temperantia
Greed Avaritia Charity (or, sometimes, Generosity) Caritas (Liberalitas)
Sloth Tristitia or Acedia Diligence Industria
Wrath Ira Patience Patientia
Envy Invidia Kindness Humanitas
Pride Superbia Humility Humilitas

  • 1 Γαστριμαργία (gastrimargia) gluttony
  • 2 Πορνεία (porneia) prostitution, fornication
  • 3 Φιλαργυρία (philargyria) avarice
  • 4 Ὑπερηφανία (hyperēphania) pride – sometimes rendered as self-overestimation
  • 5 Λύπη (lypē) sadness – in the Philokalia, this term is rendered as envy, sadness at another's good fortune
  • 6 Ὀργή (orgē) wrath
  • 7 Κενοδοξία (kenodoxia) boasting
  • 8 Ἀκηδία (akēdia) acedia – in the Philokalia, this term is rendered as dejection
  • 1 Gula (gluttony)
  • 2 Luxuria/Fornicatio (lust, fornication)
  • 3 Avaritia (avarice/greed)
  • 4 Superbia (pride, hubris)
  • 5 Tristitia (sorrow/despair/despondency)
  • 6 Ira (wrath)
  • 7 Vanagloria (vainglory)
  • 8 Acedia (sloth)
  • lustful appetite (gluttony, fornication, and avarice)
  • irascibility (wrath)
  • mind corruption (vainglory, sorrow, pride, and discouragement)
  • Laute – eating too expensively
  • Studiose – eating too daintily
  • Nimis – eating too much
  • Praepropere – eating too soon
  • Ardenter – eating too eagerly
  • Tucker, Shawn. The Virtues and Vices in the Arts: A Sourcebook, (Eugene, OR: Cascade Press, 2015)
  • Schumacher, Meinolf (2005): "Catalogues of Demons as Catalogues of Vices in Medieval German Literature: 'Des Teufels Netz' and the Alexander Romance by Ulrich von Etzenbach." In In the Garden of Evil: The Vices and Culture in the Middle Ages. Edited by Richard Newhauser, pp. 277–290. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.
  • The Divine Comedy ("Inferno", "Purgatorio", and "Paradiso"), by Dante Alighieri
  • Summa Theologica, by Thomas Aquinas
  • The Concept of Sin, by Josef Pieper
  • The Traveller's Guide to Hell, by Michael Pauls & Dana Facaros
  • Sacred Origins of Profound Things, by Charles Panati
  • The Faerie Queene, by Edmund Spenser
  • The Seven Deadly Sins Series, Oxford University Press (7 vols.)
  • Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies, (Grand Rapids: BrazosPress, 2009)
  • Solomon Schimmel, The Seven Deadly Sins: Jewish, Christian, and Classical Reflections on Human Psychology, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997)
  • "Doctor Faustus" by Christopher Marlowe
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Wikipedia

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