The Four Cardinal Virtues – Prudence

The Four Cardinal Virtues – Prudence

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Caption: Late 15thttthcentury marble-inlay mosaic of Prudence, one of the four Cardinal Virtues, along with Justice, Temperance and Fortitude, that are portrayed in the marble pavement of the interior of the Cathedral of Siena. The symbol for prudence is frequently a woman with two heads, holding a mirror and a serpent. Here she has three heads and there is no mirror. She has a young, middle aged and an older face to represent past, present and future. Plato identified the four cardinal virtues in the 4thh century BC in the Protagoras, later they became part of the Christian tradition.

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Keywords: ancient greece, cardinal virtues, cathedral, duomo, iconography, legend, marble inlay, middle age, mosaic, myth, mythological, old age, pavement, philosophy, plato, protagoras, prudence, renaissance, serpent, siena, symbol, three headed woman, youth

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