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Humanization In Late Antique And Byzantine Philosophy

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author uses the word 'humanist' in its wider, more general sense, particularly when this sense carries the implication that a new emphasis on the value of human nature could lead to an effort to free human existence from subservience to the authority of a god and a religious doctrine, to assert the value, rights and autonomy of the human individual. This chapter discusses Michael Psellos's 'humanism', in particular in the context of his philosophical conception of human nature and of its relation to the divine. It also discusses Psellos's ancient Greek sources to the extent that they allow us better to understand Psellos's position and to trace it further back to the philosophy of late Antiquity. In a passage of his important history of the Byzantine empire, the Chronographia, Psellos discusses the figure of Leo Paraspondylos, who administered the empire in 1055-6 for the empress Theodora.

Keywords: Byzantine philosophy; humanism; late Antiquity; religious doctrine



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