An artefactual basis for the past
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An artefactual basis for the past book
Toward the end of the twentieth century it is hard for us to conceive the extent to which European social-historical-cultural thinking was formed on the twin axes of the Bible and Classicism.1 Both streams were of course transmitted from antiquity, though differentially, providing an invaluable, quasi-ethnographic, contrast to extant conditions while supplying an historical, quasi-evolutionary perspective. Christianity, in the form of Eastern and Western churches, and with them patristic writing of late antiquity, survived the collapse of empire so well that within a relatively few centuries the Western church was able to Christianize Dark Age Western Europe, where the church alone remained literate.