"The thousand-year-long, continent-wide world which we medievalists claim as ours is so full of awakenings, consolidations, collpases, movements, declines, rewakenings, and all the other buffers and points which articulate the historical model railway, that we can debate forever, without going outside the medieval period at all, just how and when these awakenings (and so on) began and ended." 1
are the Middle Ages an actuality or just a mindset?
cultural inertia vs. vested interest (the latter political)
"...the past does not exist, nor do any of us remember it, so far back. We have to find out about it" 7