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Ask Mr Donn Ancient Greece Q&A Interactive
In Western Europe, some of the older Roman elite families died out while others became more involved with ecclesiastical than secular affairs. Values attached to Latin scholarship and education mostly disappeared, and while literacy remained important, it became a practical skill rather than a sign of elite status. In the 4th century, Jerome (d. 420) dreamed that God rebuked him for spending more time reading Cicero than the Bible . By the 6th century, Gregory of Tours (d. 594) had a similar dream, but instead of being chastised for reading Cicero, he was chastised for learning shorthand .  By the late 6th century, the principal means of religious instruction in the Church had become music and art rather than the book.  Most intellectual efforts went towards imitating classical scholarship, but some original works were created, along with now-lost oral compositions. The writings of Sidonius Apollinaris (d. 489), Cassiodorus (d. c. 585), and Boethius (d. c. 525) were typical of the age. 
This brief history of Greece is compiled here as an introduction to web readers and to provide the historical background that’s needed to appreciate all the subjects of Ancient Greek culture. It was no easy task to compress the history of Ancient Greece into a concise format that would be appropriate both for online reading and as a precise overview of the subject. Suffice to say that each sentence of this essay has been the subject of countless volumes of discourse throughout history. Further reading can be found in the bibliography . -- 6/2007
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