"Virtue." Virtue personified as a goddess, although from Homeric times onwards the term is not gender specific.

In a fable related by Xenophon, at a crossroads, Arete appeared to Heracles as a young maiden and offered him a hard and long road to valor and glory; her counterpart Cacia ("Vice") offered to guide him by a short and easy road to happiness. Heracles chose the path that led to Arete.



  • Xenophon. Memorabilia ii, 1.21.