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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: May 2011

45 - John Scotus Eriugena

from VII - The third encounter of Christianity with ancient Greek philosophy
John Scotus Eriugena was a master of the liberal arts, translator, philologue, poet, philosopher and theologian. He developed the most systematic and radical form of Platonism. After Boethius, he was the first to draw together the Greek and Latin Platonisms and the resulting system enabled his reconciliation of Latin and Greek Christian theology. Eriugena wrote his Treatise on Divine Predestination. Eriugena taught both the three linguistic (grammar, logic and rhetoric) and the four mathematical (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music) arts at the court. There are two printed forms: his Annotations and his incomplete Gloss on the Marriage of Philology and Mercury, by the fifth-century pagan Platonist Martianus Capella. The Periphyseon is a systematic philosophical theology explicating the structure of the universe in the form of a dialogue between a master or 'Nutritor' and his 'Alumnus' or disciple. From two fundamental notions: God creates himself, and God is nothing, Eriugena concludes that the nothing from which God creates is himself.
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