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Aristotle lists virtues like courage, temperance or self-control, generosity, "greatness of soul," proper response to anger, friendliness, and wit or charm.
Roman writers like Horace extolled the value of virtue while listing and warning against vices.
This principle of virtue found in the middle or "mean" between excess and deficiency is Aristotle's notion of the golden mean.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 Catholic Church used the doctrine of the deadly sins in order to help people curb their inclination towards evil before dire consequences and misdeeds could occur; the leader-teachers especially focused on pride (which is thought to be the sin that severs the soul from Grace, and the 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. 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.
Such misdeeds can include simony, where one attempts to purchase or sell sacraments, including Holy Orders and, therefore, positions of authority in the Church hierarchy.