You know about the Middle Ages, right? Roughly a thousand years in European history, from the fall of Rome in 476 to the beginning of the Renaissance in the 14th century or so. The Renaissance itself lasted several hundred years, into the 17th century.
The thing is, the folks who lived through those extended dynamic eras didn’t know what they were doing. I mean, they didn’t know it was “the Middle Ages” or “the Renaissance.”
Those words weren’t used in the English language until the early 18th century.
During the Middle Ages, for example, medieval writers referred to historical events as “ancient” and described their own times as “modern.” Beauty is in the eye…
Pundits or philosophers of the future may call our current era the Age of Tomfoolery. We’ll never know.
Owen Barfield, History in English Words (Hudson, NY: The Lindisfarne Press, 1953), 167.
No surprise here
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