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I would like to engrave a piece in Latin for my teenage son with our “family motto.” The motto is strength, love and courage. He is studying Latin and I want to be sure the word choice is accurate. The intended meaning is to be one of/with strength (of character, body, and mind), love, and courage.

I have researched and found the words (to be engraved in capitals):

VIRTVS * AMOR * FORTITVDO

  1. Could someone please tell me if these are an accurate translation and representation of the intended meaning? I am plan to have three words verses a phrase.

  2. Are virtus and fortitudo redundant? I understand virtus to be of moral, mental strength and bravery and fortitudo to be of physical strength and courage.

Thank you!

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The words are generally suitable. virtus can indeed mean strength of character, body and mind, amor is indeed love, and fortitudo can mean courage. However, you are right that virtus and fortitudo overlap more than the corresponding English words strength and courage do. If you want a word meaning only courage, you could use audacia, but be aware that this also has negative connotations. If you want a word meaning only strength, you could use firmitas, but that means more the ability to endure than the kind of strength you are likely aiming for.

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