History of European Morals: From Augustus to Charlemagne - Vol. 1

History of European Morals: From Augustus to Charlemagne - Vol. 1

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History of European Morals: From Augustus to Charlemagne - Vol. 1

History of European Morals: From Augustus to Charlemagne - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The questions with which an historian of Morals is chiefly concerned are the changes that have taken place in the moral standard and in the moral type. By the first, I understand the degrees in which, in different ages, recognised virtues have been enjoined and practised. By the second, I understand the relative importance that in different ages has been attached to different virtues. Thus, for example, a Roman of the age of Pliny, an Englishman of the age of Henry VIII., and an Englishman of our own day, would all agree in regarding humanity as a virtue, and its opposite as a vice ; but their judgments of the acts which are compatible with a humane disposition would be widely different. A humane man of the first period might derive a keen enjoyment from those gladiatorial games, which an Englishman, even in the days of the Tudors, would regard as atrociously barbarous ; and this last would, in his turn, acouiesce in many sports . . .

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