Great innovations appear made by many simultaneously, because we consign to obscurity anyone more than a week or two ahead of his time.
The obscurest epoch is today.
The medieval church had a juster claim as guardian of the life of the mind than the contemporary university.
Historically killing deprived its victims only of life; the modern refinement is to deprive them first of agency.
It is no harder to foresee the future than to construe the past.
Each great upheaval of history that now seems to us inevitable came to nearly everyone who lived through it as a complete surprise.
Aristocracies die with the disappearance of their duties, not their privileges.
However many stages history is divided into, ours is always second to last.
Civilizations expire, unnoticed, in a rabble of compilers, curators, connoisseurs, encyclopedists, mashers-up, aficionados.
History, in one sense, is a succession of ever-widening protection rackets.
It defeats the purpose of remembering someone’s name to look pleased with yourself for having done so.