Hard Periods of History

Nevertheless it is not the “easy” periods of history that are the most worth studying. One of the great merits of history is that it takes us out of ourselves–away from obvious and accepted facts–and discovers a reality that would otherwise be unknown to us. There is a real value in steeping our minds in an age entirely different to that which we know: a world different, but no less real–indeed, more real, for what we call “the mordern world” is the world of a generation, while a culture like that of the Byzantine or the Carolingean world has a life of centuries.

-Christopher Dawson, The Making of Europe

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