It is strange that the last men of intellectual eminence before the dark ages were concerned, not with saving civilization or expelling the barbarians or reforming the abuses of the administration, but with preaching the merit of virginity and the damnation of unbaptized infants. Seeing that these were the preoccupations that the Church handed on to the converted barbarians, it is no wonder that the succeeding age surpassed almost all other fully historical periods in cruelty and superstition.
Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945), p. 366; see also bk. 2, pt 1, chaps. 3, 4.