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The Baptized Muse: Early Christian Poetry as Cultural Authority

Karla Pollmann


With the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire, increasing numbers of educated people converted to this new belief. As Christianity did not have its own educational institutions, the issue of how to harmonize pagan education and Christian convictions became increasingly pressing. Especially classical poetry, the staple diet of pagan education, was considered morally corrupting (because of its deceitful mythological content) and damaging for the salvation of the soul (because of the false gods it advocated). But Christianity recoiled from an unqualified anti-intellectual attitude, while at t ... More

Keywords: Early Christian literature, myth, poetic aesthetics, classical literary tradition, pagan education, late antiquity, biblical exegesis, anti-intellectualism, cultural authority, religion and culture

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198726487
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198726487.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Karla Pollmann, author
Professor of Classics and Head of the School of Humanities, University of Reading