The Mind of the Middle Ages, A.D. 200-1500: An Historical Survey

By Frederick B. Artz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
The Latin West, 5th-10th Centuries
THE SURVIVAL OF THE CLASSICS IN THE WEST
THE TRANSMITTERS OF CLASSICAL AND PATRISTIC LEARNING
POETRY AND HISTORY
ART AND MUSIC

WHILE the lights of Byzantine and Islamic culture burned most brightly, the Latin West was, by comparison, sunk in economic and cultural backwardness. The Barbarian Migrations of the fifth century broke down the Roman political regime in central and western Europe and in North Africa, and the universal rule of Rome was replaced by a multitude of small and weak states. Warring tribes produced a fearsome chaos, and inside each of these weak political units, family carried on blood-feud against family. At the same time the old Roman economy, in the next four centuries, went to pieces; the towns and the Roman roads and bridges slowly sank into ruin; the old urban economy eventually gave way to a crude agricultural order tied to the soil and to the immediate locality, and so constituted that it was self- sufficient. The writers were full of woe; "every colony is levelled to the ground," wrote Gildas. "The inhabitants are slaughtered, and the flames crackled around. How horrible to behold the tops of towers torn from their lofty hinges, the stones of high walls, holy altars, mutilated corpses, all covered with lurid clots of blood, as if they

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The Mind of the Middle Ages, A.D. 200-1500: An Historical Survey
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface to First Edition vii
  • Acknowledgments x
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiv
  • Acknowledgments xiv
  • Part One - The Dominance of the East 1
  • Chapter I - The Classical Backgrounds of Mediaeval Christianity 3
  • Chapter II - The Jewish and Early Christian Sources of Mediaeval Faith 39
  • Chapter III - The Patristic Age, 2nd-5th Centuries 64
  • Chapter IV - Byzantine Civilization 95
  • Chapter V - Islamic Civilization 132
  • Chapter VI - The Latin West, 5th-10th Centuries 179
  • Part Two - The Revival of the West, 1000-1500 223
  • Chapter VII - Learning (I) 225
  • Chapter VIII - Learning (II) 270
  • Chapter IX - Literature (I) 320
  • Chapter X - Literature (II) 355
  • Chapter XI - Art and Music 384
  • Chapter XII - Underlying Attitudes 419
  • Epilogue 443
  • Notes 456
  • Bibliographical Notes 503
  • Index 559
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