I purpose to write the literary history of the Middle Age, from the fifth to the end of the thirteenth century, the time of Dante, before whom I pause as the worthiest representative of that great epoch. But in the history of literature my principal study will be the civilization of which it is the flower, and in that civilization I shall glance especially at the handiwork of Christianity. The whole idea, therefore, of my book will be to show how Christianity availed to evoke from the ruins of Rome, and the hordes encamped thereupon, a new society which was capable of holding truth, doing good, and finding the true idea of beauty…
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