Medieval Misconceptions:

Yesterday both Dad29 and xkcd directed our attention to some documents that fight common misconceptions.

Dad29 points to Myths about the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Myth.

xkcd pointed us to Wikipedia's List of common misconceptions, which includes several Medieval items.

Why does this matter, and how much? I would say it matters a great deal, because it alienates many today from one of the richest and most important parts of our Western tradition. A Christianity is much poorer if it is uninformed by St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, Peter Abelard, and so many others. A Western culture that loses the logic of Abelard, or the valor of Robert the Bruce, is likewise impoverished.

It is also less attractive to many, if they believe that Christianity or Medieval Europe had a history of hostility toward science. That is probably the most crucial misconception to fight.

On a slightly-related but more amusing note, my wife tells me that this reconstruction looks like me. Except, I hope, for the stupid expression.

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