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Does anyone have a source for the phrase, "He was the historian who coined the term Middle Ages"? As part of another project, I spent two weeks reading the Decades, the Roma instaurata, the De romana locutione, the Italia instaurata, and the Roma triumphans and could find it. I admit, he does come very close, and I hoped every aetas nostra would have a correlate, but a phrase referring to the time between antiquity and his own never occurs. This is also the conclusion of D. Hay (“Flavio Biondo and the Middle Ages,” Proceedings of the British Academy 45 (1960), 97–128, reproduced in D. Hay, Renaissance Essays (London and Ronceverte, 1988), 35–66, see p. 55). So, if anyone has a citation, please post it here! --Harry 21:29, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
This trite commonplace of historiography was expressed by Victor S. Mamatey, reviewing Oscar Halecki, The Limits and Divisions of European History in American Slavic and East European Review10.4 (December 1951 p 314) in the following familiar formula: "The chronological division of European history into 'ancient history', 'middle ages', and 'modern history', bequeathed to us by Flavio Biondo, Cellarius and other humanists and classicists..." To challenge the commonplaces that are normally found in an encyclopedia article would entail original research. Of course the divisions themselves were already considered "of doubtful significance" half a century ago, but that is not the current issue, I believe. So Denis Hay to the rescue: why not give the relevant Denis Hay quote, giving the familiar cliché and Hay's corrective view? --Wetman 06:36, 26 June 2007 (UTC)