By Ian Heath

ISBN-10: 0904417158

ISBN-13: 9780904417159

Enterprise, strategies, costume and guns

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Extra resources for Armies of the Dark Ages, 600-1066 A.D.

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In a sense, then, every human being will at length return to the Ideal and be therein contained, though Gregory certainly accepted individual immortality. This notion of the return of all things to God, to the Principle from whom they sprang, and of the attainment of a state in which God is 'all in all', was also borrowed by John Scotus Eriugena from St. Gregory, and in interpreting the somewhat ambiguous language of John Scotus one should at least bear in mind the thought of St. Gregory, even while admitting the possibility of John Scotus having attached a different meaning to similar words.

Origen was the most prolific and learned of all Christian writers before the Council of Nicaea, and there is no doubt that he had every intention of being and remaining an orthodox Christian; but his desire to reconcile the Platonic philosophy with Christianity and his enthusiasm for the allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures led him into some heterodox opinions. Thus, under the influence of Platonism or rather of neo-Platonism, he held that God, who is purely spiritual, the [iovdfc; or tvA;1 and who transcends truth and reason, essence and being (in his book against the pagan philosopher Celsus8 he says, following the mind of Plato, that God is inlxtiva voO xal ouola;), created the world from eternity and by a necessity of His Nature.

Gregory's scheme of the soul's ascent certainly bears some resemblance to that of Plotinus; but at the same time it is thoroughly Christocentric. The advance of the soul is the work of the Divine Logos, Christ. Moreover, his ideal is not that of a solitary union with God, but rather of a realisation of the Pleroma of Christ: the advance of one soul brings grace and blessing to THE PATRISTIC PERIOD 37 others and the indwelling of God in the individual affects the whole Body. His mysticism is also thoroughly sacramental in character: the ctxciv is restored by Baptism, union with God is fostered by the Eucharist.

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Armies of the Dark Ages, 600-1066 A.D. by Ian Heath


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