The Wisdom of Fools: Christianity and the Break in the Classical Tradition

“What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” thundered the church father Tertullian at the end of the second century AD, and the answer implied was: nothing. The triumph of Christianity by the time of Constantine created a radical break with many of the beliefs and practices of the classical past. In the Christian world, classical texts were still read, Greek and Latin were still spoken; but the claims to knowledge found in classical philosophy were not only disowned but even (by some zealots) considered a form of temptation held out by the devil.

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