Studi Classici e Orientali (SCO), Studi Classici e Orientali LVI - Anno 2010 (edito nel 2011)

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Gregory the Great and classical culture

Pope Gregory the Great has long since been considered a humble theologian, for he was not involved in deep doctrinal issues, and a bad writer, for he was careless of rhetorical effects which were pursued at his time. Gregory himself had been responsible for such low an esteem, because he had often repeated his scorn of the ‘rules of Donatus’, as if they were a mere display. Yet, scholars have not paid attention to the fact that his blame of pagan literature and rhetoric was a topos of Christian education. This paper aims at investigating how sincere were Gregory’s statements, and at evaluating his style, culture and philosophy. This does not mean, as some scholars have asserted, that Gregory knew well Greek and Roman culture: his
knowledge of Greek, for instance, was not so great and his readings of classics were limited. Nonetheless, Gregory was concerned with some topics that were current in his age, such as grammar, etymologies,

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Studi Classici e Orientali - Dipartimenti di Filologia, letteratura e linguistica e di Civiltà e forme del sapere dell'Università di Pisa - ISSN: 0081-6124