The Philosophy of History (Volume 2); In a Course of Lectures, Delivered at Vienna
by Friedrich von Schlegel
ISBN 0217918891 (0-217-91889-1)
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Softcover, General Books LLC, 2012
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Book summary: Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1835. Excerpt: ... LECTURE XIV. On the struggles of the Guelfs and Ghibellines.--Spirit of the Ghibelline age.--Origin of romantic poetry and art.--Character of the scholastic science and the old jurisprudence.-- Anarchical state of Western Europe. The most rapid sketch of the history of the middle age, if it contained but a few lively, characteristic and faithful traits on a subject inexhaustible in itself, would suffice to convince any reasonable man that great characters, (abounding almost more than in any other period of history,) important interests, mighty motives, and lofty feelings and ideas were there in mutual collision; and that in what is called the anarchy of the middle age we find an active and stirring life, the most splendid feats of heroism, and many luminous traces of a higher power. The most careful consideration and profound investigation of the history of those ages, invariably discovers that all that was then great and good in the state, as well as in the church, proceeded from Christianity, and from ] the wonderful efficacy of religious principles. » Whatever was imperfect, defective, and hurtful, belonged not to that moral principle which animated society, and which was itself the best, the noblest, and the soundest; but was in the character of men, we might almost say, in the character of the age itself, which, though perhaps not originally and purposely selfish, had yet become so in the violence of the conflict. And by selfishness, I do not precisely understand a vulgar self-interest, or an ordinary ambition, but that absolute will or conduct which springs from some unalterable resolution, which, hurrying from one extreme to another, is sure to produce a perpetual alternation of extreme measures. In some cases this conduct proceeded from a want of penetration, prudence, ...
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