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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of this book, which attempts to understand the nature and role of Greek antiquity in sixteenth century Lutheran historical consciousness. It probes into Lutheran humanists' opinions about the nature and scope of Greek antiquity and at the same time enquires into the role played, to their minds, by Greek antiquity in history. While modern scholarship has oft en dealt with the 'victimization' of humanism in the age of Reformation and Confessionalism, or conversely with the 'survival' of certain humanistic outlooks in the period, what follows is a study of a thorough adaptation of a humanist branch of learning to a Lutheran worldview. The argument underlying is that significant aspects of later humanist interest in antiquity, like so many facets of sixteenth century life, were distinctly confessional in character and motivation.

Keywords: Greek antiquity; Lutheran humanists



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