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THE USE OF SECULARISED LATIN PAGAN CULTURE BY CHRISTIANS

In: Late Antique Archaeology
Author: Claude Lepelley
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The attitudes of educated Christians to the pagan literary culture of Late Antiquity have long attracted scholarly debate. Jerome and Augustine express the unease that many Christian men of letters felt, and Christian apologists repeatedly attacked the absurdity and immorality of pagan mythology. Yet both Jerome and Augustine nevertheless believed that classical culture could contribute to the Christian life, and mythology remained a source of inspiration for certain Christian authors. This is demonstrated vividly by the writings of two important late antique figures, Sidonius Apollinaris in 5th c. Gaul and the 6th c. African poet Corippus. In their works we can trace an evolving acceptance of classical mythology as a cultural rather than religious inheritance, moving towards the later Christian Humanism of the Renaissance.

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