Mortuus ille quidem sed longum vivus in aevum
Colloquitur doctis per sua scripta viris
—Epitaphium Celtis ab ipso compositum
If mental discipline and capacity for sustained thought are essential attributes of a formal philosopher, then Conrad Celtis, whom D. F. Strauss christened “the German arch-humanist,” was far from being one. On the big questions Celtis' thinking was protean and inconclusive. He showed a grand indifference to the need for consistency. In a remarkable way he combined Platonic mysticism with an Aristotelian view of nature. He savagely attacked the church, its clergy, and dogma, yet performed his religious duties as though no trace of doubt marred the serenity of a simple faith. He lead an openly immoral life, if not so successfully as he boasted, and at the end turned to the comforts of a pious death. In a very real way these contradictions were not his alone, but less obviously those of his whole generation.