The Mind of the Middle Ages, A.D. 200-1500: An Historical Survey

By Frederick B. Artz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III

The Patristic Age, 2nd-5th Centuries
1. THE GREEK FATHERS OF THE CHURCH
2. THE LATIN FATHERS OF THE CHURCH
3. THE BEGINNINGS OF CHRISTIAN POETRY, ART, AND MUSIC

THE ANCIENT world had been slowly turning toward other-world- liness, mysticism, and asceticism long before the beginning of the Christian Era. This transformation steadily became more marked in the three centuries between Augustus and Constantine, in the centuries that cover first the Apostolic and then the Patristic Ages of the Christian church. "Our fathers," writes Nock, "could quote Swinburne's

Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean;
The world has grown grey from thy breath

and could think in terms of an antithesis between a free, untrammelled Greek mind and a dogmatic mediaevalism, or between clean-limbed models for Pheidias and unwashed hermits. That is all past now. We know that paganism had of itself gone far in the direction of grayness, asceticism, and mysticism."1 Everywhere there was a growing sense of world-worthlessness.

Men of the highest education were no longer ashamed of being superstitious; the unpardonable sin was to be a materialist and an atheist. Sorcery, magic, astrology, sun-worship, other-worldly philoso-

-64-

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The Mind of the Middle Ages, A.D. 200-1500: An Historical Survey
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface to First Edition vii
  • Acknowledgments x
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiv
  • Acknowledgments xiv
  • Part One - The Dominance of the East 1
  • Chapter I - The Classical Backgrounds of Mediaeval Christianity 3
  • Chapter II - The Jewish and Early Christian Sources of Mediaeval Faith 39
  • Chapter III - The Patristic Age, 2nd-5th Centuries 64
  • Chapter IV - Byzantine Civilization 95
  • Chapter V - Islamic Civilization 132
  • Chapter VI - The Latin West, 5th-10th Centuries 179
  • Part Two - The Revival of the West, 1000-1500 223
  • Chapter VII - Learning (I) 225
  • Chapter VIII - Learning (II) 270
  • Chapter IX - Literature (I) 320
  • Chapter X - Literature (II) 355
  • Chapter XI - Art and Music 384
  • Chapter XII - Underlying Attitudes 419
  • Epilogue 443
  • Notes 456
  • Bibliographical Notes 503
  • Index 559
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