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Pagans and PhilosophersThe Problem of Paganism from Augustine to Leibniz$
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John Marenbon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142555

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142555.001.0001

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The Early Middle Ages and the Christianization of Europe

The Early Middle Ages and the Christianization of Europe

(p.57) Chapter 4 The Early Middle Ages and the Christianization of Europe
Pagans and Philosophers

John Marenbon

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at the ease with which the ancient pagan culture was adopted and adapted to fit into a Christian world (without in many cases being actually Christianized) during the Early Middle Ages. In writing which was not strictly theological or philosophical, early medieval scholars used ancient models and language freely within a Christian context. They took the compatibility of pagan culture and Christian belief so much for granted that the Problem of Paganism did not arise; and the same is true for their predecessors in the sixth and seventh centuries as for some tenth- and eleventh-century writing. This broad, unproblematic acceptance of classical culture set what would remain the mainstream view throughout the Middle Ages. The chapter also looks at how Christian Europe came about only as the result of a long process.

Keywords:   Early Middle Ages, Christianization, Christian Europe, early medieval scholars, ancient models and language, pagan culture, Christian belief, classical antiquity

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