apollonius of tyana and other essays

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: JOHN SCOTUS ERIGENA Whenever the time shall arrive for a final estimate of the doctors of Latin scholasticism, the compassion expressed by Dante for the virtuous and philosophic heathens whom he saw in Limbo ' will be transferred to them. Powerful as were their intellects, not even the greatest of them could achieve work having the permanent suggestiveness or the aesthetic value we find even in much that is not of supreme rank in ancient and modern thought. Under the compressive force of authoritative revealed religion, the most that they could do was to prepare the way for happier ages by showing, through the very failure of all constructive effort, that their faith and their philosophy could not live together. In the end, positive advance came not from their results, but from fuller knowledge of the Greeks, whom they themselves, with imperfect means, had sought out as the masters of all science. The humanists and thinkers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries took the right way in breaking, as far as might be, with the middle period. Now, however, that the intellectual contest has long been decided, even those who have least sympathy with that period, ought to make some attempt at doing justice especially to the figures in it that belonged by spiritual affinity not to their own but to a past or a future age. Among these, unquestionably, the greatest is John Scotus Erigena. Born in Ireland early in the ninth century, he does more than any one else to confirm the opinion that has found favour about the adventurous genius of the Celt. For, while frequently penetrating, through the veil of its Christianised version, to the genuine thought of that Neo-Platonic philosophy which was the last expression of Hellenism, he is even more '//iv. 43-45. remarkable by his direc...
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