Plato (Republic, iv, 427) regarded prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice as the cardinal virtues. Ambrose, according to tradition, and other Christian writers adopted these. The theological virtues (faith, hope, charity) [love]; cf. 1 Co 13; Gl 5:56; Cl 1:45; 1 Th 1:3) were added, but in contrast to the 4 natural or moral virtues. Some combine them as 7 cardinal (from Lat. cardo, hinge) virtues.
R. Schwarz, Fides, spes und caritas beim jungen Luther (Berlin, 1962).
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