Coffee, the Sober Drink

Reading St. Tully

"Lactantius, known as the 'Christian Cicero', declared that in his treatises Cicero 'contributed a great deal of his own', and found On Duties adaptable to the needs of the Church; Ambrose's On the Duties of Ministers owes very much to the same source, and his Epistles deliberately imitate Ciceronian diction and form. For Jerome and Augustine Cicero symbolized the pagan culture whose vanities Christianity had rejected. Yet Jerome, in a dream, saw himself arraigned before the Seat of Judgment as more Ciceronian than Christian, and Augustine, though The City of God was written to oppose Cicero's conception of Providence, writes of his treatise the Hortensius: 'this book quite altered my affections, turned my prayers to thyself, O Lord.' At that decisive moment of transition from the ancient to the medieval world, the Fathers kept alive and transmitted, the classical philosophy that they had learnt from Cicero: whose works thus became an important ingredient in Christian doctrine and scholastic logic." Michael Grant in Cicero: Selected Works

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