Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Phoenix from the Ashes

Still making my way very slowly through H.J.A. Sire's Phoenix from the Ashes, a brilliant but not very optimistic book.  The progress would be a lot quicker if I didn't find something to highlight in almost every paragraph.

This isn't a review, if for no other reason than that I haven't finished it yet.  A short review can be found at the link above.  But I did want to give some sort of introduction before posting a few of my highlighted and underlined excerpts.  This isn't much of an introduction but it will have to do for now.

". . .how closely our time repeats the tide of barbarism which, in the fifth century, overwhelmed the security and culture of the Roman Empire. Despite the cushions of artificial progress that surround us,  our frontiers have been pierced and the standards of civilisation overthrown.  We are like the Romans in the kingdom of Theodoric.  The city still stands, recognisable in its main landmarks though battered by two destructive invasions; the toga is still worn by ancient nobles, beside the uncouth jackets of the invaders; the senate and consuls rehearse their solemn rites; but only the weak-minded deceive themselves.  The barbarians are in control.  Those who have not been taught to despise the greatness of the past are left to clutch, like Boethius, at the last tatters of literature and philosophy."