History of European Morals, from Augustus to Charlemagne - Vol. 2

History of European Morals, from Augustus to Charlemagne - Vol. 2

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History of European Morals, from Augustus to Charlemagne - Vol. 2

History of European Morals, from Augustus to Charlemagne - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

. . . I proceed to examine the nature of the moral ideal the new religion introduced, and also the methods by which it attempted to realise it. And at the very outset of this enquiry it is necessary to guard against a serious error. It is common with many persons to establish a comparison between Christianity and Paganism, by placing the teaching of the Christians in juxtaposition with corresponding passages from the writings of Marcus Aurelius or Seneca, and to regard the superiority of the Christian over the philosophical teaching as a complete measure of the moral advance that was effected by Christianity. But a moment’s reflection is sufficient to display the injustice of such a conclusion. The ethics of Paganism were part of a philosophy. The ethics of Christianity were part of a religion. The first were the speculations of a few highly cultivated individuals . . .

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