Saturday, July 02, 2005 +

Burckhardt on Greatness

From Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and
(The Liberty Fund Online Library of Liberty), II, 11,“On the Middle Ages”.

The greatness of an epoch or a cause depends on the proportion of those capable of sacrifice, on whatever side
it may be. In this respect the Middle Ages pass muster rather well. Devotion! And not a guarantee of regular pay!

Where does greatness begin? With devotion to a cause, whatever it may be, with complete extinction of personal

Greatness is not dependent on mental superiority, for this can be paired with a wretched character.

Greatness is the conjunction of a certain spirit with a certain will.

See also Contemplating History and Jacob Burckhardt on the Greeks.