Heretics and Heroes (#06 in Hinges Of History Series)
:In Volume VI of his acclaimed Hinges of History series, Thomas Cahill guides us through a time so full of innovation that the Western world would not again experience its like until the twentieth century: the new humanism of the...
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:In Volume VI of his acclaimed Hinges of History series, Thomas Cahill guides us through a time so full of innovation that the Western world would not again experience its like until the twentieth century: the new humanism of the Renaissance and the radical religious alterations of the Reformation.
This was an age in which whole continents and peoples were discovered. It was an era of sublime artistic and scientific adventure, but also of newly powerful princes and armies-and of unprecedented courage, as thousands refused to bow their heads to the religious pieties of the past. In these exquisitely written and lavishly illustrated pages, Cahill illuminates, as no one else can, the great gift-givers who shaped our history-those who left us a world more varied and complex, more awesome and delightful, more beautiful and strong than the one they had found.
THOMAS CAHILL is the author of the three previous volumes in the Hinges of History series: "How the Irish Saved Civilization," "The Gifts of the Jews," and "Desire of the Everlasting Hills," They have been bestsellers, not only in the United States but also in countries ranging from Italy to Brazil. Cahill was recently invited to address the U.S. Congress on the Judeo-Christian roots of moral responsibility in American politics. He and his wife, Susan, also a writer, divide their time between New York and Rome.
NEW WORLDS FOR OLD
Innovation on Sea and Land
Winter completes an age
With its thorough levelling;
Heaven&'s tourbillions of rage
Abolish the watchman&'s tower
And delete the cedar grove.
As winter completes an age,
The eyes huddle like cattle, doubt
Seeps into the pores and power
Ebbs from the heavy signet ring;
The prophet&'s lantern is out
And gone the boundary stone,
Cold the heart and cold the stove,
Ice condenses on the bone:
Winter completes an age.
Thus the perspicacious W. H. Auden in For the Time Being. Like seasons, ages are seldom so precise as to end abruptly, while allowing another age to commence. Few events of European history have been as final as the Black Death in bringing to an end one age (which we might call the Innocently Playful Medieval) and bringing into view another (which we might call the Colder Late ­Medieval&-Early Renaissance). But even at this interstice, old forms and old mental states hang on, while new forms and new mental states peek uncertainly into view.