We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
Professor Anthony Esolen who has commented on this blog, in the brilliant video above for Prager University defends the Middle Ages from the ahistorical lies routinely told about that epoch. The ancient world was in an intellectual dead end, the fall of the Roman Empire in the West merely being the outward sign of the spent force of the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome. It was the much maligned Middle Ages that produced the intellectual trends that led humanity, for better and worse, to surpass the accomplishments of the ancient world.
Our representative institutions of government, the technological progess that we assume, erroneously, is a normal state of affairs, the division of Church and State, the science that opens the secrets of the natural world, all of these and more owe much more to the Middle Ages than the ancient world. At the beginning of the Middle Ages in the West, weak barbarian states were newly erected on the carcass of the Roman empire. By the end of the Middle Ages Europe was about to burst forth on the world scene with a global reach that would have astounded the Caesars and was rapidly becoming the technological center of the planet. In a civilization that Catholicism nurtured and protected for a thousand years the modern world took shape. Those today who hate the Church show themselves ignorant of the fundamental basis of their civilization and are at war with the chief force that produced the modernity they pretend to prize.
But again change the image; and fancy the modern man (the unhappy modern man) who took a volume of mediaeval theology to bed. He would expect to find a pessimism that is not there, a fatalism that is not there, a love of the barbaric that is not there, a contempt for reason that is not there. Let him try the experiment. It will do one of two good things: send him to sleep – or wake him up.
G. K. Chesterton