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Neoplatonism Through the Renaissance

Introduction

Did Plato and Aristotle influence early Christian and medieval philosophy?

Yes, but both early Christian and medieval philosophy were influenced by interpretations of Plato and Aristotle’s thought, which neither they nor today’s scholars would accept as completely true to the sources. This was because Plato was given a Neoplatonic interpretation and Aristotle was interpreted through a Christian world view. Not until the Renaissance did the intellectual complexity and humanism of ancient Greek thinkers begin to fully re-emerge, however. Until Aristotle’s texts were rediscovered in the ninth century, Plato was the major influence from antiquity, although many of his dialogues were lost. And until the Renaissance, all Greek or pagan philosophy took a distant second place to Christian theology and philosophy.



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