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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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Pagan Knowledge, 1400–1700

Pagan Knowledge, 1400–1700

(p.235) Chapter 12 Pagan Knowledge, 1400–1700
Pagans and Philosophers

John Marenbon

Princeton University Press

This chapter turns to the first of the three aspects of the Problem of Paganism — knowledge, virtue, and salvation — which is examined here for the period 1400–1700. It begins by looking at discussions, mainly about ancient Greek and Latin pagans and their writings, in and out of the universities, before going on to see how the Problem was complicated and given special relevance, but not fundamentally changed, by contacts, from 1492 onwards, with large groups of contemporary pagans, in America and then in China. Within roughly four decades from 1492, Europeans came into contact with — and all too rapidly made themselves the rulers of — a vast number of previously unknown pagan peoples, in what was before long recognized to be a new continent in the West.

Keywords:   pagan knowledge, Problem of Paganism, universities, America, China, unknown pagan peoples, contemporary pagans, knowledge

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