Quotation of the Day

“The expression ‘Middle Ages,’ when used to designate the period 1050-1350 and the following century, is open to objection. The phrase itself and the notion it is intended to convey were alike unknown to the men of that epoch. Unconscious of any break in continuity between themselves and their predecessors of the ancient world, they had no sense of living, so to speak, in an historical parenthesis. No such idea would ever have occurred to them; their existence was too full to admit the mournful prospect of a transitory age. Their sense of kinship with and loyalty to the past was infinitely stronger than that of the present generation, whose faith is pinned upon the years to come, and who glibly assume that because a thing belongs to the future it is more valuable than its present counterpart. In the ‘Middle Ages’ the opposite was true: every legacy of the past was viewed with respect and received as a model; for until the fourteenth century most Europeans considered themselves lineal heirs to all that was best in ancient civilization.”

H Daniel-Rops, Cathedral and Crusade (tr. John Warrington), pp.4-5

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