Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten).

The Wanderer and his Shadow, the second supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1880.

  

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Previous Section   222. PASSION IN THE MIDDLE AGES   Next Section

Passion in the Middle Ages.  The Middle Ages are the period of great passions.  Neither antiquity nor our period possesses this widening of the soul.  Never was the capacity of the soul greater or measured by larger standards.  The physical, primeval sensuality of the barbarian races and the over-soulful, over vigilant, over brilliant eyes of Christian mystics, the most childish and youthful and the most over ripe and world weary, the savageness of the beast of prey and the effeminacy and excessive refinement of the late antique spirit — all these elements were then not seldom united in one and the same person.  Thus, if a man was seized by a passion, the rapidity of the torrent must have been greater, the whirl more confused, the fall deeper than ever before.  We modern men may be content to feel that we have suffered a loss here.  
 

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