Philosophical Europe ||| The Political Progress ||| European Witness ||| EU News
European Forum ||| Special Homages: Meister Eckhart / David Copperfield
From Jacob Burckhardt's 2nd edition of the Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy; edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
Part Two: Development of the Individual
» Full Contents of this Part
To this inward development of the individual corresponds a new sort of outward distinction - the modern form of glory.
In the other countries of Europe the different classes of society lived apart, each with its own medieval caste sense of honour. The poetical fame of the Troubadours and Minnesanger was peculiar to the knightly order. But in Italy social equality had appeared before the time of the tyrannies or the democracies. We there find early traces of a general society, having, as will be shown more fully later on, a common ground in Latin and Italian literature; and such a ground was needed for this new element in life to grow in. To this must be added that the Roman authors, who were not zealously studied, are filled and saturated with the conception of fame, and that their subject itself - the universal empire of Rome - stood as a permanent ideal before the minds of Italians. From henceforth all the aspirations and achievements of the people were governed by a moral postulate, which was still unknown elsewhere in Europe.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
The Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * The Making of Europe