The School of Plato: Its Origin, Development, and Revival under the Roman Empire

The School of Plato: Its Origin, Development, and Revival under the Roman Empire

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The School of Plato: Its Origin, Development, and Revival under the Roman Empire

The School of Plato: Its Origin, Development, and Revival under the Roman Empire

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The History of Thought has few more interesting periods than the first three centuries of the Christian era. It makes no difference from what point of view we regard it. Putting aside our natural prejudice, our interest in the success of the Church, and attempting to survey impartially the progress of Speculation, we cannot fail to be struck by the wealth and variety of ideas which mark the Imperial age of Rome, and the clearness of expression with which they are presented to us. In that age, all the systems that preceded in a long series reappear, but now simultaneously and with full consciousness of points of difference or of contact. Each one then receives a final and dogmatic restatement in the form almost of a creed, and presents itself for criticism in its clearest outline. All previous guesses at truth, whether made by Oriental or Jewish or Hellenic mind, now meet in the crucible, and contribute, in dissolving, their share to the formation of the New Element, the Philosopher's stone, the religious wisdom of the Christian Church. As if by some solemn compact, the State undertakes to relieve mankind of the oppressive incubus of political duties. Peace, plenty, and for the lower ranks amusement as well, are provided by the . . .

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