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Denis de Rougemont, Open Letter to the Europeans

Ferney-Voltaire (Ain), France, February 21 1970


      We have to wait for the middle of the fifteenth century for the terms Europe and European to enter into current usage. This was a time when Christendom was losing its Near Eastern extensions, now occupied by the Turks, and was tending more to coincide with geographical Europe, and yet the first humanists were beginning to distinguish between the two concepts of christianitas and Europa. It was in the works of a man who was first a great humanist called Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, then a great pope called Pius II, that Europe, faced with the Islam of Mahomet II, saw herself defined as the Christian heir to both Rome and Greece....  Read Complete

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