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The Sacred And The Secular: The Presence Or Absence Of Christian Religious Thought In Secular Writing In The Late Antique West

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Chapter Summary

The impact of Christianity on secular life in Late Antiquity is often conceived in rather negative terms, as various characteristic features of classical Antiquity are regarded as coming to an end. Within this interpretative framework, most studies of the literature of Late Antiquity have focussed on the survival of 'classical' (or 'pagan' or 'secular') traditions and tropes in Christian writings. This chapter examines the question from the opposite perspective. It aims to forefront various ways in which Christian discourses penetrated writings that were not primarily religious in content in the Latin West from the 4th century to the 6th. The account of the reign of Theoderic in the second part of the Anonymus Valesianus presents a curious mixture of styles: there has been much debate about the identity of its author.

Keywords: Christian religious thought; Christian writings; late antique west; reign of Theoderic



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