Detail of Pride through the Seven Deadly Sins while the Four final Things by Hieronymous Bosch, c. 1500


Vainglory (Latin, vanagloria) is unjustified boasting. Pope Gregory viewed it as a kind of pride, so he folded vainglory into pride for their set of sins. In accordance with Thomas Aquinas, it’s the progenitor of envy.

The term that is latin roughly means boasting, although its English cognate – glory – has arrived to possess an solely good meaning; historically, the definition of vain roughly meant futile (a meaning retained when you look at the modern phrase “in vain”), but by the 14th century had arrived at have the strong narcissistic undertones, so it nevertheless keeps today.

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