The Complete and Smashing Victory of Antiquity

 

[Letter excerpt, probably 1940]

I have been struck by a phenomenon which I may have mentioned to you and which becomes increasingly impressive, namely the fact that the Dark Ages, rightly so-called, do not represent the victory but the defeat of the Barbarians: the victory of the invading hoards is everywhere followed immediately by a revival of inspiration and creative power, which always gives way to a complete and devastating reaction when the Barbarians become won over, as they quickly are, to the old Civilization which everyone is so anxious to preserve. The Middle Ages turn out to be in their worst aspect the complete and smashing victory of antiquity, the undisputed triumph of “Western Civilization” over all the disruptive forces of violence and honesty. Wherever our duty lies, I am convinced that the unconventional and rebellious ground on which we both stand will prove to be the best.

 

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About Hugh Nibley

Hugh Nibley, 1910-2005, was simultaneously the LDS Church's greatest intellectual defender from attack from the outside and Mormon culture's strongest critic from the inside. This blog is composed mainly from Nibley's unpublished writings, letters, interviews and conversations, with occasional posts from associates who had personal interactions with him.
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