ARETÉ (’αρετή) in ancient Greek
A term describing a maximum of ability and potency for action, a man’s effectiveness and skill in goodness.
In Homer‘s Iliad and Odyssey, “arete” is used mainly to describe heroes and nobles and their mobile dexterity, with special reference to strength and courage, but it is not limited to this.
Penelope‘s arete, for example, relates to co-operation, for which she is praised by Agamemnon.
The excellence of the gods generally included their power, but, in the Odyssey (13.42), the gods can grant excellence to a life, which is contextually understood to mean prosperity.
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