MEDIAEVAL BUILDERS OF THE MODERN WORLD
HISTORY has no period which makes a more vivid appeal to the young reader than the thousand years which we
call the Middle Ages. The mediaeval world is just such a world as he would like to live in, where knights ride
off on crusades, and kings wander out from their palaces in disguise; where heroes sail away to explore
unknown seas, and gay cavaliers sally forth to tournament and joust. It requires no effort to interest boys
and girls in this part of history. They turn to it with the enthusiasm with which they seize fairy tales and
legends of chivalry and romance, and find in its reality a satisfying response to the desire for a true story.
The child's interest being assured, the problem is to make this interest of use in the process of his
education. The purpose of this series is to relate this fascinating and heroic past to the present by telling
the stories from the point of view of the contribution of the Middle Ages to the world of to-day. The heroes
gain a new importance and the stories a new meaning by this treatment. Who the "mediaeval builders" were may
be seen by the titles of the following books, which make up the series: "Barbarian and Noble," "Patriots and
Tyrants," "Kings and Common Folk," "Craftsman and Artist," "Cavalier and Courtier," "Sea Kings and Explorers."
PATRIOTS AND TYRANTS
"Pages of the Past that teach the Future"
So all true history might be characterized, and especially such stories of the growth of freedom and of the
beginnings of government as these tales of "Patriots and Tyrants." We are apt to take our liberties as a
matter of course. It is good for us to recall how hardly they were won and how dearly prized by our ancestors.
The Teuton barbarian brought to the world the love of personal independence. It has taken him fifteen
centuries to work it out into our modern systems of government, and in the process all our nations have been
founded. In these stories that development is pictured. We see how every patriot was working for the universal
rights of man. The author has tried to guard against special pleading for the heroes. The tyrant had often
something of the patriot, and the methods of the patriots might seem to modern judgment to savor of tyranny.
But it took them all to build up the free governments of to-day. Our American struggle for liberty gains new
importance when it becomes the culmination of fifteen centuries of effort in the Old World.
So this book becomes to the child a textbook of civics in story form, in which each of the great foundation
principles of liberty appears in its picturesque mediaeval beginnings.
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