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Patristic Era And Early Middle Ages (C. 400–C. 1100)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is devoted to the dealings with the cardinal virtues in LatinChristian literature from the sixth to the eleventh centuries. The cardinal virtues were mostly considered in this period as genuine Christian concepts. Few early medieval authors evoked, or indeed seem to have remembered, the classical origin of the quartet. The work of Christianizing the virtues having been done and ancient moral philosophy being dead and buried, most authors further assimilated the virtues to the faith in the diverse genres of religious writing where the fathers introduced them-moral and spiritual literature, exegesis, preaching, and hagiography. The chapter considers the "religious" dealings with the virtues in the early medieval period , one devoted tomoral and spiritual literature, the other to exegesis and hagiography. It examines the scarce use of the cardinal virtues in the context of philosophy and political ethics.

Keywords: cardinal virtues; exegesis; hagiography; LatinChristian literature; tomoral



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