By Paul Hazard
Paul Hazard’s magisterial, greatly influential, and loved highbrow historical past deals an unforgettable account of the delivery of the trendy ecu brain in all its dynamic, inquiring, and unsure glory. starting his tale within the latter 1/2 the 17th century, whereas additionally on reflection to the Renaissance and ahead to the long run, danger strains the method during which new developments
in the sciences, arts, philosophy, and philology got here to undermine the good foundations of the classical international, with its dedication to culture, balance, share, and settled utilization. possibility indicates how tourists’ stories and archaeological research widened ecu wisdom and recognition of cultural distinction; how the novel rationalism of Spinoza and Richard Simon’s new old exegesis of the Bible referred to as into query the published truths of faith; how the Huguenot Pierre Bayle’s serious dictionary of principles cleared the path for Voltaire and the Enlightenment, at the same time the empiricism of Locke inspired a brand new recognition to sensory adventure that ended in Rousseau and romanticism. Hazard’s diversity of data is substantial, and even if the topic is operas, excavations, or clinical experiments his wonderful type and powers of description deliver to existence the thinkers who proposal up the fashionable global.
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Additional resources for The Crisis of the European Mind: 1680-1715
It was left for Egypt to provide the pattern of a perfect civilization. The Egyptians were a grave and thoughtful people. The glorious tribute rendered them, the tribute which described them as being the most grateful people in the world, implied that they were also the most friendly. Egypt had not only made known the law; she had also kept it, which is far less common. She had called up the dead to judgment; according to the sentence passed on them by that august Assize she had separated the worthy from the unworthy, assigning to the former the honour of stately tombs, casting the latter into a nameless and unhonoured grave.
Nor did Molière ever revisit that barber’s shop at Pézenas. The great classics were not given to moving about; for the wanderers, we must wait for Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau. But, in between, some obscure forces had been at work, preparing the way for the impending change. The fact is that by the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth, the Italians had revived their taste for travel; and that the French were as mobile as quicksilver. If a contemporary observer speaks the truth about them, they were so enamoured of novelty that they even took care not to keep a friend too long.
Philosophers went abroad, not to go and meditate in peace in some quiet retreat, but to see the wonders of the world. Such were Locke and Leibniz. Monarchs, too, indulged in foreign travel; Christina of Sweden died at Rome in 1689; and Peter the Great set out for Europe in 1696. Travel literature, with its indeterminate frontiers, provided a convenient reservoir for the most diverse material, from the dissertations of the learned, to museum-catalogues and love-stories, and so it came to the fore.
The Crisis of the European Mind: 1680-1715 by Paul Hazard