STUDIA PHILOLOGICA
“ST. CYRIL AND ST. METHODIUS” UNIVERSITY OF VELIKO TARNOVO - UNIVERSITY PRESS

“Libido“ vs. “Divinitas” in “Divine Institutes“ of Lactantius († ca. 325)


Authors:
Rosen Milanov St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Pages: 44-54
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54664/BVCQ6573

Abstract:

Lucius Caelius (Caecilius) Firmianus Lactantius (ca. † 325) is one of the early apologists (defenders) of Christianity who refutes paganism in his works. One of his theses about the insignificancy of paganism in “Divine Institutes” (“Institutiones divinae”) is built on the immorality in the pagan mythology: libido, an attribute of the pagan “heroes” and “gods”, is incompatible with divinity (divinitas). The current paper clarifies the difference between fictio and veritas in the context of the work “Divine institutes”. It also divides the criticism of pagan fornication in the Christian apology into two big parts and searches for its specific feahirs. Finally, the article gives an assessment of the quality of the philosophical and ethical arguments of Lactantius and their literature expression.

Keywords:

paganism; ancient mythology; Christianity; early Christian literature; apologies of Christianity.

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