The Cult of Cicero: Classical Influence on the Latin Fathers
Boggs, Joshua J.
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The theme of this work is the interaction and cooperation between two cultures during a period of transition in Western society. Few scholars would question the value of understanding the subtle and uncertain transfer of learning between Christian and Pagan in Late Antiquity. Indeed, many of the choices made during that era have greatly influenced the course of medieval society and the extent of our modern classical heritage. My own interest in Cicero stemmed from the interesting contradictions of his popularity. The contrast between this incredibly worldly character and the Christian monastic communities which preserved the majority of his works, including political speeches and private letters, for over a thousand years suggested that Cicero held some sort of unrecognized appeal to the Christian thinker. Ultimately, my findings were much more complex than I could have foreseen; a credit both to the flexibility and resourcefulness of Late Antique Christians and to the range of Cicero's own work. Much remains to be done on the subject of Cicero's relationship with early Christians. By all rights, this should only constitute a beginning.