Middle Ages Quotes

Quotes tagged as "middle-ages" Showing 1-30 of 52
Richard Lederer
“There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.”
Richard Lederer, Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language

“The day will come when you need them to respect you, even fear you a little. Laughter is poison to fear.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Charles Dickens
“Those darling byegone times, Mr Carker,' said Cleopatra, 'with their delicious fortresses, and their dear old dungeons, and their delightful places of torture, and their romantic vengeances, and their picturesque assaults and sieges, and everything that makes life truly charming! How dreadfully we have degenerated!”
Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son

“The hard truths are the ones to hold tight. - Old Bear”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Umberto Eco
“In the Middle Ages, cathedrals and convents burned like tinder; imagining a medieval story without a fire is like imagining a World War II movie in the Pacific without a fighter plane shot down in flames.”
Umberto Eco, Postscript to the Name of the Rose

Thomas Cahill
“Is is seldom possible to say of the medievals that they *always* did one thing and *never* another; they were marvelously inconsistent. ”
Thomas Cahill, Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe

Judith Merkle Riley
“Margaret looked up at him from where she sat by the window.

"Oh, Brother Gregory, what's wrong with your hand"

"I'm just scratching it; it itches."

"Really, is it red?"

"No, it's just a bite. You gave me a flea."

"I don't have fleas, Brother Gregory," insisted Margaret.

"Everyone has fleas, Margaret. It's part of God's plan."

"I don't. I wash them off."

"Margaret, you haven't any sense at all. They just hop back. You can't wash enough to keep them off."

"I do."

"Aren't you afraid your skin will come off? It could, you know. That's much worse than fleas." Brother Gregory spoke with an air of absolute certainty.

"Everyone tells me that. It hasn't come off yet."

"Margaret, you're too hardheaded for your own good. Now take for your next sentence, 'Fleas do not wash off.'"

"Is this right?" She held up the tablet, and Brother Gregory shook his head in mock indignation.

"I despair of you, Margaret. Flea is not spelled with one e--it's spelled with two.”
Judith Merkle Riley, A Vision of Light

Michela Wrong
“Spirituality can go hand-in-hand with ruthless single-mindedness when the individual is convinced his cause is just”
Michela Wrong, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo

H.G. Wells
“What I want to know is, in the Middle Ages, did they do anything for Housemaid's Knee? What did they put in their hot baths after jousting?”
H.G. Wells, Tono-Bungay

David Bentley Hart
“Sadly, however, it is not serious historians who, for the most part, form the historical consciousness of their times; it is bad popular historians, generally speaking, and the historical hearsay they repeat or invent, and the myths they perpetuate and simplifications they promote, that tend to determine how most of us view the past. However assiduously the diligent, painstakingly precise academical drudge may labor at his or her
meticulously researched and exhaustively documented tomes, nothing he or she produces will enjoy a fraction of the currency of any of the casually composed (though sometimes lavishly illustrated) squibs heaped on the
front tables of chain bookstores or clinging to the middle rungs of best-seller lists. For everyone whose picture of the Middle Ages is shaped by the dry, exact, quietly illuminating books produced by those pale dutiful pedants who squander the golden meridians of their lives prowling in the shadows of library stacks or weakening their eyes by poring over pages of barely legible Carolingian minuscule, a few hundred will be convinced by
what they read in, say, William Manchester’s dreadful, vulgar, and almost systematically erroneous A World Lit Only by Fire. After all, few have the time or the need to sift through academic journals and monographs and
tedious disquisitions on abstruse topics trying to separate the gold from the dross. And so, naturally, among the broadly educated and the broadly uneducated alike, it is the simple picture that tends to prevail, though
in varying shades and intensities of color, as with any image often and cheaply reproduced.”
David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies

Jim Al-Khalili
“Two of the most famous Baghdadi scholars, the philosopher Al-Kindi and the mathematician Al-Khawarizmi, were certainly the most influential in transmitting Hindu numerals to the Muslim world. Both wrote books on the subject during al-Ma'mun's reign, and it was their work that was translated into Latin and transmitted to the West, thus introducing Europeans to the decimal system, which was known in the Middle Ages only as Arabic numerals. But it would be many centuries before it was widely accepted in Europe. One reason for this was sociological: decimal numbers were considered for a long time as symbols of the evil Muslim foe.”
Jim Al-Khalili

Lois Leveen
“How much easier it is to be poor than rich.”
Lois Leveen, Juliet's Nurse

Chris Wickham
“Europe was not born in the early Middle Ages. No common identity in 1000 linked Spain to Russia, Ireland to the Byzantine empire (in what is now the Balkans, Greece and Turkey), except the very weak sense of community that linked Christian polities together. There was no common European culture, and certainly not any Europe-wide economy. There was no sign whatsoever that Europe would, in a still rather distant future, develop economically and militarily, so as to be able to dominate the world. Anyone in 1000 looking for future industrialization would have put bets on the economy of Egypt, not of the Rhineland and Low Countries, and that of Lancashire would have seemed like a joke. In politico-military terms, the far south-east and south-west of Europe, Byzantium and al-Andalus (Muslim Spain), provided the dominant states of the Continent, whereas in western Europe the Carolingian experiment (see below, Chapters 16 and 17) had ended with the break-up of Francia (modern France, Belgium and western Germany), the hegemonic polity for the previous four hundred years. The most coherent western state in 1000, southern England, was tiny. In fact, weak political systems dominated most of the Continent at the end of our period, and the active and aggressive political systems of later on in the Middle Ages were hardly visible.

National identities, too, were not widely prominent in 1000, even if one rejects the association between nationalism and modernity made in much contemporary scholarship.”
Chris Wickham

“Dante is certainly not, as one sometimes hears said, vindictive, spiteful, sadistic. He is not merely engaged in score settling with old adversaries by assigning them to hell. The punishments in hell are horribly cruel, but the world in which he lived was horribly cruel. He had been sentenced to death both by burning and decapitation. Such sentences were almost routine. We think of the modern world as more civilised than his, but who could seriously argue that this is so, bearing in mind events on the world stage in the twentieth century?”
Prue Shaw

Étienne Gilson
“By far the highest type of religious thought among the Ancients was that of their philosophers. With Saint Augustine, on the contrary, a new age was beginning, in which by far the highest type of philosophical thinking would be that of the theologians. True enough, even the faith of an Augustinian presupposes a certain exercise of natural reason. We cannot believe something, be it the word of God Himself, unless we find some sense in the formulas which we believe. And it can hardly be expected that we will believe in God's Revelation, unless we be given good reasons to think that such a Revelation has indeed taken place.”
Étienne Gilson, Reason & Revelation in the Middle Ages

Russell Kirk
“In the Middle Ages, as in Classical times, the academy possessed freedom unknown to other bodies and persons because the philosopher, the scholar, and the student were looked upon as men consecrated to the service of the Truth; and that Truth was not simply a purposeless groping after miscellaneous information , but a wisdom to be obtained, however imperfectly, from a teleological search.”
Russell Kirk, Academic Freedom: An Essay in Definition

Mark Kurlansky
“The medieval church imposed fast days on which sexual intercourse and the eating of flesh were forbidden, but eating "cold" foods was permitted. because fish came from water, it was deemed cold, as were waterfowl and whale, but meat was considered hot food.”
Mark Kurlansky, Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

Mark Kurlansky
“Cod became almost a religious icon - a mythological crusader for Christian observance.”
Mark Kurlansky, Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

François Villon
“Where are the snows of yesteryear?”
François Villon, Le Testament Villon I: Texte

“The fundamental challenge of ancient man was to be wise. The fundamental challenge of medieval man was to be holy. The fundamental challenge of modern man was to be effective. The fundamental challenge of contemporary man is not to be ridiculous.”
Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski

“He did not see a hero of romance, but a plain man who had done his best-- not a leader of chivalry, but the pupil who had tried to be faithful to his curious master, the magician, by thinking all the time-- not Arthur of England, but a lonely old gentleman who had worn his crown for half a lifetime in the teeth of fate.”
T.H.WHITE, The Once and Future King

Petra Hermans
“I am not following Jesus Christ, I do not have to.”
Petra Hermans

“... if thy goodman be a good man indeed he would far rather see thy chaste conversation than thine outward adorning...”
Bertold of Regensburg

“Puesto que la muerte no tiene remedio
Mejor es que nos preparemos a morir
Para que podamos vivir de muertos
Timor Mortis conturbat me”
Joan Evans, Historia de las civilizaciones

Victor Hugo
“La plus belle comté est Flandre ; la plus belle duché, Milan ; le plus beau royaume, France.”
Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris

“In our day the first interest of most men is business and after that sports; in medieval times the dominant interest was war and after that sports, but there was not too much difference since sports were warlike too.”
Edwin Tunis, Weapons: A Pictorial History

Keijo Kangur
“A school’s purpose wasn’t to enlighten anybody or to make them into a critical thinker. Schools existed only to train people for jobs, dulling their ability for critical thinking in the process, so that they could readily accept authority and mindless routine. In fact, when I read about the history of the school system that was commonly used in the world, I discovered that it came from the Middle Ages and was originally designed to teach people religion. And what did religious people do? They accepted absurd ideas without questioning. The same system that was designed to brainwash them—full of rote learning, non-questioning, conformity, and punishment—was the same one that was still being used today. Why? Because it worked. At least most of the time. For some reason, it hadn’t worked on me.”
Keijo Kangur, The Nihilist

John King
“Not only were romantic love and gunpowder both invented in the Middle Ages, they were created in the same act.”
John Alejandro King a.k.a. The Covert Comic

C.S. Lewis
“In our age I think it would be fair to say that the ease with which a scientific theory assumes the dignity and rigidity of fact varies inversely with the individual's scientific education.
In discussion with wholly uneducated audiences I have sometimes found matter which real scientists would regard as highly speculative more firmly believed than many things within our real knowledge; the popular imago of the Cave Man ranked as hard fact, and the life of Caesar or Napoleon as doubtful rumor. ... The mass media which have in our time created a popular scientism, a caricature of the true sciences, did not then exist [in the middle ages]. The ignorant were more aware of their ignorance then than now.”
C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image

“The day we wed, I promised to love you.' His whisper was warm against her forehead. 'And I never break my promises.”
Jody Hedlund, Come Back to Me

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