About: What Tennyson thus said of his own first essay in the Idyls of the King, in the introduction to the Morte D'Arthur, occurs as probably the aptest expression of most men's immediate thought with regard to such a subject as The Thirteenth, Greatest of Centuries.
About: All the great issues, forces, and institutions of the thirteenth century are reviewed at generous length-the rise and character, the curricula, and the influences of the early universities; the steps taken towards popular education, both literary and technical; the development of letters; the great books and the great writers of the period; the Latin hymns of the church; Thomas Aquinas, Dante, the Golden Legend, the Romance of the Rose, Jocelyn de Brakelond, Matthew Paris, and Vincent of Beauvais; hospitals; famous women; Marco Polo and the story of geographical exploration; the systematization of law; and the beginnings of modern commerce.
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