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Introduction: The Context Of The Study

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book. It addresses the following questions: What is the nature of these centones? Why did some Christians combine Gospels and pagan legacy in this way? Against what background is this literature to be understood? What light might they shed on the canonical Gospels?. In order to answer these questions, the centos have to be put into a wider context, in both recent research and the ancient world. The attitudes of Christians towards Homer and Virgil varied from opposition to embracing it (considering this legacy as "propaideutic" and therefore as paving the way for higher knowledge provided by faith only). At the centre of this debate in the early church naturally stood the texts in which citations from the classical legacy do appear in New Testament writings. Judged by direct quotations, the presence of classical literature is quite meagre in the New Testament.

Keywords: canonical Gospels; centones; Christian; classical literature; Homer; Jesus; New Testament; Virgil



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