Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Medieval Dinner Conversation

I have amused myself while writing this book by trying to identify which, if any, late antique or early medieval writers (that is, those whose personality we can recapture, at any rate in part, with least mediation) I could imagine meeting with any real pleasure. It comes down to remarkably few: Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Gregory the Great, Einhard, maybe Braulio of Zaragoza -- and, with less enthusiasm, Augustine, for his remarkable intelligence and self-awareness however, not for his tolerance. But for all its distance from us, and in large part because of it, the early Middle Ages -- the many different early medieval realities -- are interesting.

Chris Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome, p. 553.