Historical concepts::Loyalty


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Historical concepts

Western world

Classical tragedy is often based on a conflict arising from dual loyalty. Euthyphro, one of Plato's early dialogues, is based on the ethical dilemma arising from Euthyphro intending to lay manslaughter charges against his own father, who had caused the death of a slave through negligence.

In the Gospel of Matthew 6:24, Jesus states, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon". This relates to the authority of a master over his servants (as per Ephesians 6:5), who, according to Biblical law, owe undivided loyalty to their master (as per Leviticus 25:44–46).<ref name=White2000 /> On the other hand, the "Render unto Caesar" of the synoptic gospels acknowledges the possibility of distinct loyalties (secular and religious) without conflict, but if loyalty to man conflicts with loyalty to God, the latter takes precedence.<ref name=SharmaSharma1998 /> Moreover,

The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition defines loyalty as "allegiance to the sovereign or established government of one's country" and also "personal devotion and reverence to the sovereign and royal family". It traces the word "loyalty" to the 15th century, noting that then it primarily referred to fidelity in service, in love, or to an oath that one has made. The meaning that the Britannica gives as primary, it attributes to a shift during the 16th century, noting that the origin of the word is in the Old French "loialte", that is in turn rooted in the Latin "lex", meaning "law". One who is loyal, in the feudal sense of fealty, is one who is lawful (as opposed to an outlaw), who has full legal rights as a consequence of faithful allegiance to a feudal lord. Hence the 1911 Britannica derived its (early 20th century) primary meaning of loyalty to a monarch.<ref name=EB1911 /><ref name=Vandekerckhove2006 />

East Asia

(Zong) Often cited as one of the many virtues of Confucianism, meaning to do the best you can do for others.

"Loyalty" is the most important and frequently emphasized virtue in Bushido. It combines other six virtues, such as Righteousness (義 gi?), Courage (勇 yū?), Benevolence, (仁 jin?), Respect (礼 rei?), Sincerity (誠 makoto?) Honour (名誉 meiyo?) and formed the Bushido code. "It is somehow implanted in their chromosomal makeup to be loyal".<ref name=Hurst1990>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

Loyalty sections
Intro  Historical concepts  Modern concepts  In relation to other subjects  In the Bible  Misplaced loyalty  In animals   References    Further reading   

Historical concepts
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