Byte-Sized Virtue: Season 2, Episode 7 – Virtue and Pharisees and Laws, Oh My!

As this second season of Byte-Sized Virtue moves from the Lenten season into the Easter season, we will be switching the focus of episodes back to topics that relate, in some way, to the Eight Virtues (and Three Principles) of Ultima lore. Specifically, we’ll be talking about the Virtue of Compassion and the Principle of Love, joined this time by Chlorthos Dragon.

Listen to the Episode

In this episode, the discussion first focuses on how Richard Garriott came up with the Three Principles that, in turn, were used to inform the Eight Virtues (hint: it involves The Wizard of Oz). We then talk about a small grab bag of things, including the relationship of virtue and law, the odd way in which the Eight Virtues always seem to be in conflict with each other, and just why some people go about following laws.

2 Responses

  1. AvatarAcid AvatarAcid says:

    So, Wizard of Oz or not most of this certainly does come from writings associated with one root reference RE Catholic Excommunication. Flowing out from that point, you get the rest. I’m not a scripture or Wiz of Oz champion by any means but it seems to me that the evidence here is self evident as to how this made its way into Ultima.

    I disclosed this information to Portalarium on March 18th 2013 after a chat with Richard when there was some second guessing as to if Love, Truth, and Courage could be used due to previous copy on Ultima Lore with EA. It was received by Rick H. who forwarded it to Richard and thanked me for the research.



    Bell, book, and candle, in Roman Catholicism, a ceremony formerly used in pronouncing the “major excommunication” or “anathema” (see excommunication). Its origins are not clear, but it dates back certainly to the late 9th century.

    “The bell represented the public character of the act,”
    I can’t directly link this to Courage, but one could to Strength.

    “the book the authority of the words spoken by the presiding bishop.”
    The Bible, aka the Truth.

    The candle was believed to symbolize the possibility that the ban might be lifted by the repentance and amendment of its victim.
    Forgiveness, Love.


    Shakespeare, King John 1595:
    Act 3, Scene 3

    Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back,
    When gold and silver becks me to come on.


    Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose

    “They cursed him with bell, book, and candle; an allusion to the popish form of excommunicating and anathematizing persons who had offended the church.”

    This is actually available for download as a free E-Book, here is the link, and it is quite an interesting read 🙂


    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      Yeah, that symbolism also crops up, doesn’t it?

      Well, like as not, we know that Garriott studied a lot of different world religions, and that out of these he kind of took certain commonalities and adapted them for use in his games. Truth, Love, and Courage proved to be quite universal, as moral principles go…and he ran with them. To good effect, overall, though I daresay he didn’t dig deeply enough into Aristotle when he was conceptualizing the Eight Virtues.