The Unity of Civilization eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 291 pages of information about The Unity of Civilization.

Hegel, Philosophy of History, Parts II and III (to be read not as philosophy, but as history guided and enlightened by philosophy).  Translation in Bohn’s Library.

Marvin, The Living Past.  Clarendon Press.

Adamson, The Development of Greek Philosophy.  W. Blackwood. (For a brief but pregnant account consult Webb’s History of Philosophy. Home University Library.)

Butcher’s Some Aspects of the Greek Genius (’What we owe to Greece’).  Macmillan.

Murray’s Rise of the Greek Epic.  Clarendon Press.

Warde Fowler’s Rome.  Home University Library.

Bryce’s Holy Roman Empire.  Macmillan.

IV

UNITY IN THE MIDDLE AGES[15]

Ergo humanum genus bene se habet et optime, quando secundum quod potest Deo adsimilatur.  Sed genus humanum maxime Deo adsimilatur quando maxime est unum; vera enim ratio unius in solo illo est.  Propter quod scriptum est:  ’Audi, Israel, Dominus Deus tuus unus est’.  DANTE, De Monarchia, i. viii.

I

He who shuts his eyes to-day to make a mental picture of the world sees a globe in which the mass of Asia, the bulk of Africa, and the length of America vastly outweigh in the balance the straggling and sea-sown continent of Europe.  He sees all manner of races, white and yellow, brown and black, toiling, like infinitesimal specks, in every manner of way over many thousands of miles; and he knows that an infinite variety of creeds and civilizations, of practices and beliefs—­some immemorially old, some crudely new; some starkly savage, and some softly humane—­diversify the hearts of a thousand million living beings.  But if we would enter the Middle Ages, in that height and glory of their achievement which extended from the middle of the eleventh to the end of the thirteenth century, we must contract our view abruptly.  The known world of the twelfth century is a very much smaller world than ours, and it is a world of a vastly greater unity.  It is a Mediterranean world; and ‘Rome, the head of the world, rules the reins of the round globe’.  From Rome the view may travel to the Sahara in the south; in the east to the Euphrates, the Dniester, and the Vistula; in the north to the Sound and the Cattegat (though some, indeed, may have heard of Iceland), and in the west to the farther shores of Ireland and of Spain.  Outside these bounds there is something, at any rate to the east, but it is something shadowy and wavering, full of myth and fable.  Inside these bounds there is the clear light of a Christian Church, and the definite outline of a single society, of which all are baptized members, and by which all are knit together in a single fellowship.

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The Unity of Civilization from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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