Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund

Augustine in Byzantium

  • John A. Demetracopoulos
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1151-5_60-2


Up to 1281, when Maximos Planoudes, an erudite Byzantine theologian and scholar, who had been engaged in the discussions of the Byzantine with Roman Church and was well trained in Classical Latin, translated Augustine’s De trinitate, Augustine’s thought was almost totally unknown to the Christian East. The De trinitate was widely read and used; still, this was done almost exclusively from the theological viewpoint, most usually in the debates over Palamite theology and the quarrel between pro-Latin and anti-Latin theologians. A probable minor exception, Nicholas Kabasilas’ use of the anti-skeptical “Augustinian cogito,” does not alter this image. In the second half of the fourteenth century, Demetrios and Prochoros Kydones, motivated by their theological stands, translated also the Homilies on John’s Gospel 94–96 and 99–100; five excerpts from the Contra Julianum; the De libero arbitrio I, 1–90; eight Epistles; some small sections from the De vera religione; the De beata vita and the Enchiridion sive de fide, spe et caritate; Pseudo-Augustine’s De decem plagis Aegyptiorum et de decem praeceptis; Pseudo-Augustine’s (Fulgentius of Ruspe’s) De fide seu de regula fidei ad Petrum; the pseudo-Soliloquia; and Prosperus of Aquitania’s Sententiae ex Augustino delibatae. It was the first time that these texts became available to the Byzantine world; yet, as far as we know, they contributed nothing to Byzantine philosophy proper; they found a place only in theological disputes.

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Primary Sources

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece