(494) Virtus

Reference work entry

Discovered 1902 Sept. 7 by M. F. Wolf at Heidelberg.

Named for the personification of virtue. The ancient Romans made deities of all the major virtues and built temples to virtue and to honor. The statues of the most important virtues — temperance, honesty, modesty, and liberty — were characterized by their dress. Among the Romans, virtues came to include many of the manly virtues — manliness, courage, integrity, strength, and fortitude. (H 53; AN 168, 307 (1905))

Named at the request of the discoverer by C. Flammarion (l’Astronomie, Vol. 19, p. 309 (1905)) who states that by an oversight the astronomers had neglected to place Virtue in the skies and that if it disappeared from the Earth, it would be nice to find it in the heavens. He expressed his regret that the name Virtus was chosen long time after names such as (28) Bellona, (146) Lucina, (216) Kleopatra, and (289) Nenetta.

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© Springer-Verlag 2003

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