John of Salisbury (on personal understanding)

“Who is more contemptible than he who scorns knowledge of himself?”

John of Salisbury (1120-1180 C.E.), born in England, was a churchman, diplomat and writer. He was secretary to the assassinated Thomas a Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury; a prime source of the early history of the University of Paris; and, “little John” was the Bishop of Chartres in the last years of his life. John Ralston Saul’s 1995 The Unconscious Civilization leads off with this “true question” from the Middle Ages, and asks us to apply it to societies, to civilizations, as well.