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Norman F. Cantor

“There was some kind of cultural cause for the decline of the ancient world. It was neither corruption of public spirit nor Christianity. It was due to the rise of the logocentric culture rooted in written text. This engendered, in general, a conservative, backward-looking frame of mind, hostile to critical military and technological innovation. It widened the gap between the highly literate elite and the still-illiterate masses. It aroused social strains that the imperial government would not, or perhaps could not, confront. Once the Visigoths had won a lucky battle or two, a general pessimism, docility, and privatism settled in.
"The ancients had a phrase for this. They said the world was 'growing old.' It was a mature culture. The Roman in late antiquity needed social and intellectual restoration, not more intensive cultivation of the classical heritage.”

Norman F. Cantor, Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World
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Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World by Norman F. Cantor
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