History of Medieval and of Modern Civilization to the End of the Seventeenth Century

By Charles Seignobos; James Alton James | Go to book overview

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

THIS volume has consumed more time and energy than the first. There was no longer the problem of a simple, concise civilization, concentrated in a few points as that of antiquity; it was a varied civilization and more and more complex, which it was necessary to follow throughout the whole of Europe, taking into consideration the different characteristics which it assumed in each country.

For this more difficult task I found the material less accessible. Modern civilization has never been studied so methodically as ancient civilization; no one has yet given a complete account which may be relied upon; no one has collected the results of historical research. I have been compelled to read a large number of volumes in order to collect the facts which I have needed. At times it has been necessary to carry out a special investigation. It is not surprising, then, that this work has consumed considerable time.

I have not given a history of events; I have been content in briefly recalling the event when it was connected with the movement of civilization.

This volume, as the first, includes two different features: selected topics of a nature to make the customs of each society clear, and explanations intended to make it understood how these customs were formed,

-vii-

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