Historical Essays

Historical Essays

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Historical Essays

Historical Essays

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Excerpt

The present series of Essays is meant to illustrate some periods of history which lie between the periods which were illustrated in the two earlier series. It is the fulfilment of the hope which was expressed in the Preface to the second series. That series, the second in order of publication, dealt with events which were earlier in point of time than those which were dealt with in the first series. I then said that the Essays in that second series belonged to "the time when political life was confined to the two great Mediterranean peninsulas, and when the Teutonic and Slavonic races had as yet hardly shown themselves on the field of history." The latest subject dealt with in that series was "The Flavian Cæars." The earliest continental subject dealt with in the other series was "Frederick the First, King of Italy"--the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa looked at in his specially Italian character. I said that "I should be well pleased to connect the two series by a third, which might deal with the intermediate times, with those times which I look on as the true Middle Ages, the times when the Roman and Teutonic elements of modern Europe stood side by side, and had not yet been worked together into a third thing distinct from either."

The present series may, I hope, do something to fill up this gap, and thereby may help further to strengthen in the minds of those who may read them the doctrine of the unbroken continuity of history, and specially of the long- abiding life of the Roman Empire, Eastern and Western.

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