On the other hand, he came to represent those aspects of Peripateticism most alien to the spirit of Christendom; and the deeply religious Moslem gave his name to the anti-sacerdotal party, to the materialists, sceptics and atheists, who defied or undermined the dominant beliefs of the church.
But those who, like the positivists, agnostics and sceptics, deny the possibility of metaphysics as a theory of the ultimate nature of things, are still obliged to retain philosophy as a theory of knowledge, in order to justify the asserted limitation or impotence of human reason.
Thus the Roman edition contains (of metrical works) exegetical discourses, hymns on the Nativity of Christ, 65 hymns against heretics, 85 on the Faith against sceptics, a discourse against the Jews, 85 funeral hymns, 4 on free-will, 76 exhortations to repentance, 12 hymns on paradise, and 12 on miscellaneous subjects.
Even in his time there were sceptics who pointed dubiously to the full-grown bones of "widows" and of men among the so-called virgin relics.
The controversy as to the selfevidence of perception in which the New Academy effected some sort of conversion of the younger Stoics, and in which the Sceptics opposed both, is one of the really vital issues of the decadence.