Stifling the Spirit of Humanism

Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,

History of Classical Scholarship (trans. Alan Harris):

“By the time the church recovered its strength, inwardly and outwardly, after the shock of the Reformation, its attitude to antiquity had completely changed. The spirit of humanism was stifled by the Jesuits, who countenanced nothing but formal training in Latin grammar and rhetoric, and used it in their schools with ruthless efficiency to further their own ends. Romantic feeling of any kind was entirely alien to the age of the baroque, when ancient remains were recklessly sacrificed for the sake of ambitious programmes of new building. The famous quip Quod non fecere barbari fecere Barbarini was just; Sixtus V would have liked nothing better than to rebuild the Colosseum itself to house some new foundation.”

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