Ruminations on the Fall of Rome
The bottom line is: Everything that makes a European different from the rest of mankind was originally peculiar to the Roman Empire or is demonstrably derived from something peculiar to it.
This is seen in material things: wheeled traffic; our building materials, brick, glass, mortar, cut-stone; our cooking, our staple food and drink; in forms, the arch, the column, the bridge, the tower, the well, the road, the canal; in expression, the alphabet, the very words of most of our numerous dialects and polite languages, the order of still more, the logical sequence of our thought; implements: the saw, the hammer, the plane, the chisel, the file, the spade, the plough, the rake, the sickle, the ladder.
It is also seen in our institutions: the divisions and the sub-divisions of Europe, the parish, the county, the province, the fixed national traditions with their boundaries, the emplacement of the great European cities, the routes of communication between them, the universities, the parliaments and congresses, the courts and their jurisprudence.
All these things spring from Rome. It is our well-spring, and the Catholic Church was the soul of this well-spring as it flowed into the Middle Ages.
Background: When I was the editor of Gilbert Magazine, I was responsible for the "Tremendous Trifles" column. It was occasionally hard to find a sufficient amount of interesting GKC material to fill the page, so John Peterson sent me a file full of Chesterton ancedotes. They were idiosyncratic, historical, and Chestertonian. He gave me permission to use them here. I hope y'all find them as interesting as I have over the years. Most of them have never been published.
In September of 1909, Vivian Carter reviewed Chesterton's new book George Bernard Shaw and concluded that "Shaw and Chesterton are one and the same person." The tall, thin, and abstemious Shaw, she revealed, kept a secret cellar in which he could quickly remove his false whiskers and Jaeger tweeds, and as quickly don padding, cloak, and pince-nez, in order to emerge as the self-indulgent GKC enjoying the cafes of Fleet Street. Thomas Leitch suggests that Carter's amusing fancy gave Chesterton the inspiration for "The Duel of Dr. Hirsch," a Father Brown story published in 1914. [The Critical Judgments, p. 210-11; The Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 70, p. 74]
"Infographic": Half The World's Christians Live In These 11 Nations. USA, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, Congo, Ethiopia, Italy, Germany, Russia, Philippines, and China.
Yes, China, which really surprised me. But then I read the other infographics and saw that China also houses 50% of the world's Buddhists, 73% of the world's adherents to folk religion, and 62% of the world's unaffiliated people. It also houses a large percentage of the world's adherents to other religions (primarily, Confucianism, Jainism, and Taoism, I assume). The fact that China is in the top 11 of countries with Christians is obviously a testament to its sheer demographic girth than Christianity's status there.
Catholic Men's Quarterly, a one-of-a-kind general interest men's magazine written by Catholic men for Catholic men. Makes a great Father's Day gift.
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In the writing and in the reading, it's exactly the sort
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and TV Talk Show Host.
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you like your blogs pithy, nimble, pointed, high-spirited,
and waggish, then bookmmark Eric Scheske's The Daily
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Volumes 12 and 13.
Scheske's web site is full of information and insight.
Always worth a read."James
V. Schall, Author of Another Sort of Learning.