In the Badia Platonic concepts were only represented by early Christian Greek and Latin writers, a section which occupied a substantial part in the Library, and which was at least as important as the scholastic section. The choice of late antique Platonic writers is mainly Christian. Thus Proclus, Porphyry and Plotinus are lacking, and only the early Christian theologians Origen and Dionysius Areopagita represent pagan Platonic thought, while at the same time both were praised as antique thinkers close to Christianity. But the most important church father in the Badia’s holdings was pre-eminently Augustine, who clothed Platonic thought in a Christian vestment. Many of these Early Christian authors were known as apologists, such as Lactantius and Tertullian, who were both present at the Badia. These apologetic authors gave the humanists what they were eager for: pre-Christian ideas and wisdom for inclusion in their own religion, and revealing the benefit that true religion could gain from these ancient, but apparently “Christian” minds. The great merit of the Apologists was to have bridged the gap between ancient and Christian thought: they were the first that one would study for antique philosophy of mind and divine guidance.

Origen (Fies 53) - front

Origen - Super Genesim, Super librum exodum omelie, Super Leviticum, etc. (Fiesolano 53)

Tertullian (Fies 60) - front

Tertullian - Opera (Fiesolano 60)

Lactantius (Fies 61) - front

Lactantius - Adversus gentes, De ira dei, De opificio hominis (Fiesolano 61)