Extensive pagan philosophies from the late classical and early medieval era

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Extensive pagan philosophies from the late classical and early medieval era

Postby Luigi » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:46 pm

Everyone has heard of the ancient classical philosophers, but had you asked them about their pagan beliefs they would be confused, as they did not distinguish their faiths in this way. To the ancients there were simply religious people and non-religious people - different gods of different people were simply equated with each other and considered the same. The Jewish god was thought of as a form of Zeus/Jupiter to them, although the Jews fully rejected this. This thread is not about the old classical philosophers like Aristotle and Socrates from that time, but rather it is about philosophers from a later time who self-identified as pagan and wrote in the context of Abrahamic faiths emerging as powerful entities which stood apposed to their old ways.

Varro, who was described as "the most learned of the Romans." He was a prolific writer who wrote about 75 books, only one of which survives completely - his description of traditional Roman agricultural practices. In religious matters his primary work is his writing "on the matters of men and of gods." This did not survive but was thoroughly quoted in "the city of god" by Augustine and thus the content can be easily reconstructed.


Celsus was known to be a harsh critic of Christianity, who he said shut themselves out from the outside world and considered all non-Christians to be doing evil practices, while Greco-Roman religion had always considered the various beliefs as aspects of being undividedly religious. When Christian emperors took power, part of their harsh campaign against paganism was massive burnings and bannings of Celcus' work.


Porphyry was born in Tyre, in present day Lebanon, but was culturally Greco-Roman and travelled to Rome to study the classical tradition. He was a master of logic and his works were translated into Syriac, Arabic, and Western languages, and in all of these cultural spheres they were very influential, indeed his works are still read and are very influential to this day. It became the golden standard of logic and philosophy in the Middle East as well.


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Postby Edge Guerrero » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:08 pm

- Loved that thread. Its curoius how much the cultures interacted and how much a god of a culture become the god of another with only a change of name!
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