After the fall of Rome (476 CE), the writings of Aristotle and many other philosophers were largely lost to the Western world, although Plato's speculative thought progressively made its way into Christian theology. As ecclesiastical history indicates, the illustrious bishop Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE) possibly mixed Neoplatonism with biblical teachings to form a synthesis of knowledge that endured until Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 CE). Aristotelian philosophy then gradually became part of the curriculum in medieval universities: the Philosopher appeared to captivate some medieval denizens perhaps to a greater extent than Scripture. But what resulted from this admixture of Greek philosophy and scriptural tenets?
By the early thirteenth century, Aquinas proceeded to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with Christian theology. He became known as the Church version of Aristotle. The so-called “Angelic Doctor” believed that by effecting this synthesis, he would provide sacra doctrina with more ammunition for defending the Church. So part of his reason for commingling philosophy and theology was to develop an apologetic bulwark against intellectual opponents of the Church. However, was this synthesis an augmentation of Christianity or did it somehow work against the Christian religion?