By Ralf Gelders
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Extra resources for Ascetics and Crafty Priests
The Palladius thus might have been the sort of work that would appeal to him. His translation—the De Moribus Brachmanorum (About the mores of the Brahmins)—shows just how holy and pious the Brahmins had become. 14 The Brahmin elaborated upon the right attitude towards life and not only mentioned that every soul would return to God but also invoked His Final Judgement. After sending messages back and forth, both leaders met in person. Dindimus advised the Macedonian king to end his outward battles and instructed him to overcome the enemies within: his lust and desire.
2. Anticlericalism and the proto-Christian Brahmin On the one hand, the idea of anticlericalism (including the term) emerges as a nineteenth-century phenomenon that designates the programme to curb the influence of the clergy in public affairs. On the other, it indicates popular sentiments about a worldly priesthood that are as old as the Catholic religion itself. Accordingly, it is appropriate to use the concept of anticlericalism in the context of the era prior to the Reformation—not as an expression of a radical critique of religion but as criticisms directed against a priesthood that did not live up to the spiritual status from where it claimed to derive its authority.
29 At least sixty-one manuscripts of the correspondence survive, which were immensely popular amongst the moralists and educators of the Middle Ages. For instance, the Anglo-Saxon educator and theologian Alcuin of York (ca. 735-804) forwarded a copy to Charlemagne, together with the equally fictional Epistles of St. Paul the Apostle to Seneca. 30 An emperor associated with educational reforms most likely read the work with enthusiasm. It is within this pedagogical con- Paul Meyer, Alexandre le Grand dans la Littérature Française du Moyen Âge, vol.