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    Some bike parts have a date code cast or stamped into the piece. This clearly is when the component was made and not when the bike was made, but unless the component or bike manufacturer had lots of stock lying around in inventory, the date should be a fairly good indication of the year of the bike.

    At least it would be the earliest date that the bike could have been made. Of course, all this assumes the bike has the original component. The most likely components to be original are the stem, handlebars, seatpost, and brakes. On a vintage bike in excellent condition that apparently had a lonely existence in a garage all of the components likely are original. As the wear on a vintage bike increases, the greater the likelihood components are not original, either through replacement of worn parts or through component swaps.

    Swaps can take place early in the life of a bike as the proud new owner upgrades to new or used components of higher quality. Swaps also can be made as the bike falls out of favor, or is being sold, where the higher quality components are traded for lower quality ones that the owner had onhand. Don't all cyclists have boxes and boxes of old components in their garage? Most early Treks through about were sold as framesets. The components were added by the local bike shop or by the buyer.

    New components often were used. Components also could be swapped from an existing ride to the new frameset. This makes dating the components an interesting archeological investigation, but one not necessarily related to the date of the bike. A date code is marked on most or all SR seatposts. Trek owner Larry Osborn made this observation, and suggested this as a supplementary way of dating a Trek and other bikes as well.

    Fueled by this first realization, and with the help of other bike folks, Larry and I have sorted out other codes a project still ongoing. Especially useful, and challenging to sort out and verify, was the Shimano code. Also gathered on this page are date codes decoded and generously provided by others. For Treks, the SR date markings are especially important.

    Virtually all of the Treks not equipped with Campagnolo or Shimano Dura-Ace components, started life with some grade of SR seatpost and may also have SR stems, bars or cranks. Even those equipped with Suntour Superbe components usually had SR seatposts. Many components are marked with size descriptors in addition to component manufacturer's date codes.

    For example, the back of cranks are usually marked with crank arm length in mm, typically in the range of to Seatposts are marked with outside diameter, also in mm.

    For old Treks, The Appendix gives dates of initial manufacture for the vast majority of derailleurs made from to Request for Information This component dating discussion is a work in progress. If you have confirmation of the date codes, or corrections or additions to the codes, please contact me.

    Other manufacturers of bicycle components have date marks on their pieces. Unfortunately, many of these are coded, and require some additional knowledge to understand the code. If you know of other components that are marked or coded that can be added to this list, please let me know. The information on this page is copyrighted. Feel free to quote small parts of the information on this page, but copyright law requires Vintage-Trek.

    In this website, we credit the people involved in the understanding of these codes. Their work must not be stolen. Naturally, for information provided by others, such as for the Campagnolo and Williams codes, the original source should be cited.

    Atom Atom pedals and hubs use the same date code as Maillard. Campagnolo The dating of Campy components hub lock nuts, rear derailleurs, and cranks is described at the bottom of Chuck Schmidt's excellent Campagnolo timeline: Weinmann and Dia-Compe calipers usually have codes on the back of a caliper arm.

    This can be simple like "" month 07, or a clock-type, with year in the middle and a ring of numbers with a tickmark pointing to the month. Pull the lever and look inside the top of the lever arm for a code such as " I have a set of Dia-Compe mountain levers where if you pull the lever all the way, a piece of the lever is exposed, which has a clock-type date code. Dia-Compe cantilever brakes don't appear to have a date code, but supposedly the, brakes were first introduced in,etc.

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    The two sets of Dia-Compe brake lever bodies I checked had the four-number date code stamped inside the lever body I couldn't find any markings on the levers themselves. However, a Gran Compe set of calipers had no markings. Huret Derailleurs Huret front and rear derailleurs often have a four-digit date code. The first two digits are the week of the year. The last two digits indicate the year. For example, means the 11th week of the year Preliminary data indicate this code began in the late seventies and extended at least through the late eighties.

    The latter part of this period was for Sachs-Huret derailleurs, after the purchase of Huret by Sachs. Maillard Hubs and Pedals Maillard used an open dating system for their hubs and pedals. It is of the form NN NN. The first pair of numbers is the numerical week of the year, 01 to Thanks to Erik Frey for providing this information.

    The second two numbers are the year of manufacture e. Nitto We are trying to sort out the manufacturer's date code on Nitto handlebars and stems. If you have Nitto bars for which you know the year, please send me skip skipechert. Better yet - if you know the meaning of the letter code, please let me know.

    There are date codes on some Nitto stems. If you have a stem with a code, and know the year of the bike on which it came or the date it was bought, please let me know.

    Our thanks to all who submitted codes.
    The thermoluminescence technique is the only physical means of determining the absolute age of pottery presently available. It is an absolute dating method, and does not depend on comparison with similar objects as does obsidian hydration dating, for example.

    Most mineral materials, including the constituents of pottery, have the property of thermoluminescence TLwhere part of the energy from radioactive decay in and around the mineral is stored in the form of trapped electrons and later released as light upon strong heating as the electrons are detrapped and combine with lattice ions.

    By comparing this light output with that produced by known doses of radiation, the amount of radiation absorbed by the material may be found. When pottery is fired, it loses all its previously acquired TL, and on cooling the TL begins again to build up. Thus, when one measures dose in pottery, it is the dose accumulated since it was fired, unless there was a subsequent reheating. If the radioactivity of the pottery itself, and its surroundings, is measured, the dose rate, or annual increment of dose, may be computed.

    A leaflet from Daybreak describing the TL technique in more detail and giving a bibliography will be provided to interested persons. The phenomenon of thermoluminescence was first described by the English chemist Robert Boyle in It was employed in the 's as a method for radiation dose measurement, and soon was proposed for archaeological dating.

    By the mid's, its validity as an absolute dating technique was established by workers at Oxford and Birmingham in England, Riso in Denmark, and at the University of Pennsylvania in the U. While not so accurate as radiocarbon dating, which cannot date pottery except from soot deposits on cooking potsTL has found considerable usefulness in the authenticity of ceramic art objects where high precision is not necessary.

    Since the university laboratories involved with TL are research facilities, they generally will not accept art objects for authentication on a routine basis.

    The TL laboratory at Daybreak was established in to make TL available to the art community in general. When dates of a number of sherds associated together are averaged, the error is reduced typically to per cent.

    This is for well-behaved samples only. Unfortunately, it is not possible to achieve this precision for the majority of art objects. Among the reasons for this is the small amount of material that may be taken for testing. Drilling, the usual method of sampling, introduces some uncertainty.

    It is also rare that any information about the radiation from the burial soil can be obtained, as art objects are usually thoroughly cleaned. This radiation may in some cases contribute over half the total dose.

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    Finally, one has to make the measurements regardless of whether the TL of the clay is well-behaved or not. Some clays are hardly thermoluminescent at all; some may not have a straight-line relationship between dose and TL; spurious luminescence due to chemical or pressure effects may mask the radiation-induced TL; occasionally, a condition called "anomalous fading", where part of the TL is unstable, may lessen the accuracy of the dose measurement.

    Generally speaking, when a sample is drilled and there is no information available about the burial environment, one may expect up to 40 per cent uncertainty. This is adequate for the purposes of authentication where the question is whether the piece was fired in antiquity or recently; it will not differentiate, say, between a classic Greek terra cotta and a Roman copy. In some categories of objects, from China, for example, the actual age is quite precisely known for short-lived styles, and it is possible to work "backwards" to get information about the environment in many parts of the world, and some other parameters not usually measurable for art objects.

    Using this information often reduces the uncertainty to per cent. Nearly any mineral material which has been heated above C at a time one wishes to know is a candidate for TL dating. This includes all forms of pottery.

    Porcelains, being nearly vitrified, are a special case requiring a fairly large solid core sample, and TL dating of intact objects is not recommended because of the damage caused by sampling. Most porcelain dating is done for insurance purposes on broken objects. Much stoneware is not so hard as porcelain and may be sampled by drilling. The clay cores from lost wax metal castings may readily be tested. Heated stone material, such as hearths, pot boilers, and burnt flints, has been dated as well.

    Some regions known to present problems for TL include Indonesia and West Mexico; objects from these areas usually do not successfully yield TL dates.

    These use pottery of the appropriate period to construct objects. Some of these are quite easy to detect; some quite difficult. For example figures, normally modeled, may be carved out of brick or assembled out of fragments. It must be realized that TL dating is but one of the criteria for judging authenticity.

    The expertise of the conservator may be of equal or greater importance in many cases. Some problem areas include Northern Nigerian ceramics, especially Nok, which are becoming quite scarce. Ife ceramics are virtually all fake or stolen, if genuine! New Nigerian and Asian bronzes may have introduced old cores, so it is imperative that the interface between metal and core be examined very carefully before the assumption can be made that the age of the bronze is the age of the core.

    Chinese unglazed ceramics constructed from fragments or carved from brick are a particular concern. Glazed objects generally cannot be pieced together in this way without re-firing which would defeat the purposebut be sure the glaze is glass and not a synthetic resin! Often we recommend radiography of objects to ascertain the state of restoration before proceeding with sampling. We reserve the right not to sample and date an object based on concerns about tampering.

    Since the TL age is proportional to radiation dose, it is logical to be concerned about the effect of airport security x-rays and radiography done to examine the object. In general it is not a problem. Airport security x-rays devices use very high sensitivity detectors so that the x-ray dose is in fact quite small, perhaps adding a week or month to the age, well below the uncertainty of dating. Radiography, if many films are taken, may be more of a problem, so we recommend that samples be taken prior to exposure.

    It may also be possible to compute an approximate correction, but in almost every case the effect is small. Due to concerns about bioterrorism in the wake of the events of this past autumn, the US Postal Service has begun limited sterilization of mail by electron beam.

    This will destroy the dose information carried in the pottery and rendered it unsuitable for TL dating. There have been rumors circulating lately about recently fired Chinese pottery being artificially irradiated to circumvent TL dating. While this is certainly something we watch for, there is little real cause for concern.

    There are several reasons why this dose tampering is difficult to impossible to achieve successfully. First, it is difficult to get the dose right without considerable research into the properties of the clay and access to expertise in TL measurements.

    Second, it is very difficult to get that dose sufficiently uniform over the extent of the entire object. It also and obviously requires a sophisticated means of irradiation, not easily available here, let alone in China. There are many considerations that we will not detail so as not to offer 'aid and comfort to the enemy'. The 'impossible' part is that different size grains in the clay actually have different doses in a naturally irradiated ceramic, but will have the same dose in the artificially irradiated example.

    This fortunate phenomenon is due to the heterogeneity of pottery clays, which are a mixture of fine grains silt and coarser grains sandy inclusions. The radiation dose we measure in the lab is due to a mix of different kinds of radiation: The major part of the natural radiation dose is due to alpha particles, and the alpha emitting nuclides--uranium and thorium and their daughters--are primarily found in the fine grains.

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    Because of this, the fine grains have the maximum dose, while the larger sandy grains have that dose only on their surface, and a considerably smaller dose in their interior. If the different size grains are measured, and the dose is found to be the same, there is good evidence of dose tampering, and the converse is true as well. When all these considerations are taken together, it is extremely difficult to get an artificially dosed object past routine TL dating.

    Given the quantity of older pottery available in China, your concerns should be directed more toward pastiches and assembly of new objects out of old fragments. There is one problem area, however, and that is porcelain. This material is so high fired that it actually becomes a glass with small islands of quartz usually remaining which makes TL dating of porcelains possible.

    It is unfortunately not practical at this time to do differential dosimetry on porcelain, and it becomes more difficult to tell for certain when irradiation has been attempted. When the TL test is for routine authentication, a sample of about mg, roughly a third the volume of a pencil-end eraser, is drilled out of an inconspicuous part of the object with a carbide dental burr.

    If the object is extremely small, the amount of sample may be reduced, but the error margin may increase. It is sometimes preferable to obtain a fragment a half-inch in diameter and a quarter-inch thick, as the precision attainable is greater.

    This is advisable whenever the age, if genuine, is less than twice the age of the earliest forgeries. If the object to be tested has been restored, it may be advisable to take more than one sample, as the component parts may differ in age. For heavily restored objects, or those where construction from diverse fragments is suspected, we have taken up to ten samples there will be a modest increase in the fee for samples in excess of two.

    Sampling does not lessen the value of a piece; indeed, confirmation of authenticity by TL generally enhances an object's value and saleability considerably. The site of the samples may easily be restored if desired. First, you should contact Daybreak to discuss the advisability of testing and to arrange sample-taking.

    We make occasional trips to New York City for this purpose; travel elsewhere is by arrangement.

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    One photo is retained in our files for reference; the other is annotated with the result, signed, and returned with the test result. Polaroid snapshots are adequate; it is necessary only that the object be readily identifiable from its picture. If the sample is taken by anyone other than Daybreak or its representative, it is recommended that the sampling be witnessed as provided for on the Sample Submission formasserting that the sample is indeed from the object depicted in the photographs.

    The sample-taker must sign both photos. It is extremely important to note whether the object is known or is suspected to have been exposed to x-rays or neutrons, as this could alter the results.

    Exposure to airport security x-rays does not present any problem. Also, if the piece has been heated for some purpose during restoration, the TL result may be affected.

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    In either case, consultation is required to determine whether the object can be accepted for test. Please be assured that all information about objects submitted is held in the strictest confidence. We also have conservators and restorers located throughout the country who can take samples for us at an additional charge. We recommend registered mail as a means of shipment, as the cost of insurance is very reasonable. Please consult us about packing methods.

    Usually test results are available verbally within three weeks after the sample arrives at Daybreak, with the written report to follow. Rush service as soon as the next day may be available at a premium, if our schedule permits. A large number of samples submitted as a group may take longer. There may be a modest extra change for a larger number of samples. We are now charging for sample taking:
    See Article History Censorship, the changing or the suppression or prohibition of speech or writing that is deemed subversive of the common good.

    It occurs in all manifestations of authority to some degree, but in modern times it has been of special importance in its relation to government and the rule of law. That officer, who conducted the census, regulated the morals of the citizens counted and classified. But, however honourable the origins of its name, censorship itself is today generally regarded as a relic of an unenlightened and much more oppressive age.

    Illustrative of this change in opinion is how a community responds to such a sentiment as that with which Protagoras c. About the gods I am not able to know either that they are, or that they are not, or what they are like in shape, the things preventing knowledge being many, such as the obscurity of the subject and that the life of man is short.

    Such statements would no doubt have been received with hostility, and probably with social if not even criminal sanctions, throughout the ancient world. In most places in the modern world, on the other hand, such a statement could be made without the prospect of having to endure a pained and painful community response.

    This change reflects, among other things, a profound shift in opinion as to what is and is not a legitimate concern of government. Whereas it could once be maintained that the law forbids whatever it does not permit, it is now generally accepted—at least wherever Western liberalism is in the ascendancy—that one may do whatever is not forbidden by law.

    Furthermore, it is now believed that what may be properly forbidden by law is quite limited. Much is made of permitting people to do with their lives including their opinions as they please, so long as they do no immediate and evident usually physical harm to others.

    This respect for individuality has its roots both in Christian doctrines and in the not unrelated sovereignty of the self reflected in state-of-nature theories about the foundations of social organization. Vital to this approach is the general opinion about the nature and sanctity of the human soul. This can be put in terms of liberty—the liberty to become and to do what one pleases. The old, or traditional, argument against censorship was much less individualistic and much more political in its orientation, making more of another sense of liberty.

    According to that sense, if a people is to be self-governing, it must have access to all information and arguments that may be relevant to its ability to discuss public affairs fully and to assess in a competent manner the conduct of the officials it chooses. In the circumstances of a people actually governing itself, it is obvious that there is no substitute for freedom of speech and of the pressparticularly as that freedom permits an informed access to information and opinions about political matters.

    Whether anyone who thus rules unjustly, or otherwise improperly, can be regarded as truly understanding and hence truly controlling his situation is a question not limited to these circumstances. Restraints upon speaking and publishingand indeed upon action generally, are fewer now than at most times in the history of the country.

    This absence of restraints is reflected as well in the very terms in which these rights and privileges are described. It may even be to assume that the self has, intrinsic to it or somehow available to it independent of any social guidance, intimations of what it is and what it wants. Thus, liberation may be seen in the desire of most people to be free to pursue their own goals and life plans—which may involve a reliance upon standards and objectives that are solely their own.

    It is tempting, in such circumstances, to adopt a radical subjectivism that tends to result in a thoroughgoing relativism with respect to moral and political judgments. One consequence of this approach is to identify an ever-expanding array of forms and media of expression that are entitled to immunity from government regulation—including not only broadcast and print media books and newspapers but also text messaging and Internet media such as blogssocial networking sites, and e-commerce sites.

    This means, among other things, that a people must be prepared and equipped to make effective use of its considerable political power. Even those rulers who act without the authority of the people must take care to shape their people in accordance with the needs and circumstances of their regime. This kind of effort need not be altogether selfish on the part of such rulers, since all regimes do have an interest in law and order, in common decency, and in a routine reliability or loyalty.

    It should be evident that a people entrusted with the power of self-government must be able to exercise a disciplined judgment: What is particularly difficult to argue for, and to maintain, is an arrangement that, while it leaves a people clearly free politically to discuss fully all matters of public interest with a view toward governing itself, routinely prepares that same people for an effective exercise of its considerable freedom.

    In such circumstances, there are some who would take the case for, and the rhetoric of, liberty one step farther, insisting that no one should try to tell anyone else what kind of person he should be. There are others, however, who maintain that a person is truly free only if he knows what he is doing and chooses to do what is right.

    Anyone else, in their view, is a prisoner of illusions and appetites, however much he may believe that he is freely expressing himself. There are, then, two related sets of concerns evident in any consideration of the forms and uses of censorship. One set of concerns has to do with the everyday governance of the community; the other, with the permanent shaping of the character of the people. The former is more political in its methods, and the latter is more educational. History of censorship It should be instructive to consider how the problem of censorship has been dealt with in the ancient world, in premodern times, and in the modern world.

    Care must be taken here not to assume that the modern democratic regime, of a self-governing people, is the only legitimate regime. Rather, it is prudent to assume that most of those who have, in other times and places, thought about and acted upon such matters have been at least as humane and as sensible in their circumstances as modern democrats are apt to be in theirs. Ancient Greece and Rome It was taken for granted in the Greek communities of antiquity, as well as in Rome, that citizens would be formed in accordance with the character and needs of the regime.

    This did not preclude the emergence of strong-minded men and women, as may be seen in the stories of Homerof Plutarchof Tacitusand of the Greek playwrights.

    But it was evident, for example, that a citizen of Sparta was much more apt to be tough and unreflective and certainly uncommunicative than a citizen of Corinth with its notorious openness to pleasure and luxury.

    Presiding over religious observances was generally regarded as a privilege of citizenship: A refusal to conform, at least outwardly, to the recognized worship of the community subjected one to hardships.

    And there could be difficulties, backed up by legal sanctions, for those who spoke improperly about such matters. The force of religious opinions could be seen not only in prosecutions for refusals to acknowledge the gods of the city but perhaps even more in the frequent unwillingness of a city no matter what its obvious political or military interests to conduct public business at a time when the religious calendar, auspicesor other such signs forbade civic activities.

    Indicative of respect for the proprieties was the secrecy with which the religious mysteries, such as those into which many Greek and Roman men were initiated, were evidently practiced—so much so that there does not seem to be any record from antiquity of precisely what constituted the various mysteries.


    Respect for the proprieties may be seen as well in the outrage provoked in Sparta by a poem by Archilochus 7th century bce in which he celebrated his lifesaving cowardice. Athensit can be said, was much more liberal than the typical Greek city. This is not to suggest that the rulers of the other cities did not, among themselves, freely discuss the public business.

    But in Athens the rulers included much more of the population than in most cities of antiquity—and freedom of speech for political purposes spilled over there into the private lives of citizens. This may be seen, perhaps best of all, in the famous funeral address given by Pericles in bce.

    Athenians, he pointed out, did not consider public discussion merely something to be put up with; rather, they believed that the best interests of the city could not be served without a full discussion of the issues before the assembly.

    There may be seen in the plays of an Aristophanes the kind of uninhibited discussions of politics that the Athenians were evidently accustomed to, discussions that could in the license accorded to comedy be couched in licentious terms not permitted in everyday discourse. The limits of Athenian openness may be seen, of course, in the trial, convictionand execution of Socrates in bce on charges that he corrupted the youth and that he did not acknowledge the gods that the city did but acknowledged other new divinities of his own.

    One may see as well, in the Republic of Platoan account of a system of censorship, particularly of the arts, that is comprehensive. Not only are various opinions particularly misconceptions about the gods and about the supposed terrors of death to be discouraged, but various salutary opinions are to be encouraged and protected without having to be demonstrated to be true.

    Much of what is said in the Republic and elsewhere reflects the belief that the vital opinions of the community could be shaped by law and that men could be penalized for saying things that offended public sensibilities, undermined common moralityor subverted the institutions of the community. Such regimes should be compared with those in the age of the good Roman emperors, the period from Nerva c. Ancient Israel and early Christianity Much of what can be said about ancient Greece and Rome could be applied, with appropriate adaptationsto ancient Israel.

    The stories of the difficulties encountered by Jesusand the offenses he came to be accused of, indicate the kinds of restrictions to which the Jews were subjected with respect to religious observances and with respect to what could and could not be said about divine matters. It may be seen as well in the ancient opinion that there is a name for God that must not be uttered.

    It should be evident that this way of life—directing both opinions and actions and extending down to minute daily routines—could not help but shape a people for centuries, if not for millennia, to come. But it should also be evident that those in the position to know, and with a duty to act, were expected to speak out and were, in effect, licensed to do so, however cautiously they were obliged to proceed on occasion. On an earlier, perhaps even more striking, occasion, the patriarch Abraham dared to question God about the terms on which Sodom and Gomorrah might be saved from destruction Genesis But such presumptuousness on the part of mere mortals is possible, and likely to bear fruit, only in communities that have been trained to share and to respect certain moral principles grounded in thoughtfulness.

    The thoughtfulness to which the Old Testament aspires is suggested by the following counsel by Moses to the people of Israel Deuteronomy 4: Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land which you are entering to take possession of it. It should be remembered that to say everything one thought or believed was regarded by pre-Christian writers as potentially irresponsible or licentious: Christian writers, however, called for just such saying of everything as the indispensable witness of faith: Thus, we see an encouragement of the private—of an individuality that turned eventually against organized religion itself and legitimated a radical self-indulgence.

    Ancient China Perhaps no people has ever been so thoroughly trained, on such a large scale and for so long, as the Chinese. Critical to that training was a system of education that culminated in a rigorous selection, by examination, of candidates for administrative posts.

    The status of "individuality”

    Particularly influential was the thought of Confucius — bcewith its considerable emphasis upon deference to authority and to family elders and upon respect for ritual observances and propriety. Cautiousness in speech was encouraged; licentious expressions were discouraged; and long-established teachings were relied upon for shaping character.

    It has been suggested that such sentiments have operated to prevent the spread in China of opinions supportive of political liberty. Blatant oppressiveness, and an attempt to stamp out the influence of Confucius and of other sages, could be seen in the wholesale destruction of books in China in bce.

    But the Confucian mode was revived thereafter, to become the dominant influence for almost two millennia. Its pervasiveness may well be judged oppressive by contemporary Western standards, since so much depended, it seems, on mastering the orthodox texts and discipline. Whether or not the typical Chinese government was indeed oppressive, effective control of information was lodged in the authorities, since access to the evidently vital public archives of earlier administrations was limited to a relative few.

    In addition, decisive control of what was thought, and how, depended in large part on a determination of what the authoritative texts were—something that has been critical in the West, as well, in the establishment of useful canons, both sacred and secular. It may also be based on scholarship and the use of critical methods in the interest of advancing a taste for literature, art, learning, and science.

    Perhaps the most dramatic form of censorship in Christendom was that displayed in the development by the Roman Catholic Church of the Index Librorum Prohibitoruma list of proscribed books, the origins of which go back in a primitive form to the 5th century ce and which continued to have official sanction well into the 20th century. The most spectacular instance of the silencing of a thinker of note may well have been the restrictions placed upon Galileo in Galileo, oil painting by Justus Sustermans, c.

    This must have appeared even more acute a problem when means became available, especially after the invention of printingto produce and distribute books in large quantities. The establishment of a fairly precise orthodoxy led to a perhaps unprecedented recourse to creeds.

    Thus, for example, the Nicene Creed was promulgated in ce. It was devised to fend off a heretical threat to Christian doctrine—and it led, partly because of a unilateral change in wording made by the Western church, to a schism that has continued since between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

    Thus, it very much mattered which doctrines people were taught and what came to be believed—and this was largely determined, as it usually is, by the action of some authority, ecclesiastical or temporal. Similar developments can be seen in the Islamic world to this day. It is difficult to distinguish religious and nonreligious elements in some of the more celebrated controversies of the medieval Christian world, just as it is today among Islamic peoples.

    The persecutions of witches—which ranged across much of Europe from the 14th to the 18th century and cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives—can be understood as due to various political, social, and psychic disturbances as well as to strictly religious differences.

    The trials of Joan of Arc in France and of Thomas More in England are notorious illustrations of the difficulty in distinguishing religious from political differences. Indeed, it has been common, because of the experiences of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissanceto see the cause of political liberty as intimately related to the cause of religious liberty and especially the liberty to do without religion.

    The Enlightenmentbeginning in the 17th century, attempted to purge Europe of the censorship that found political despotism allied with religious traditionalism. Alexis de Tocqueville was astonished to find in the United States, in the s, that it was possible for ordinary men who stood for political freedom to be, and to remain, religiously devout.

    This was not the typical combination in the Europe of his day. Even so, it should be recognized that the rigorous medieval theological-political regime against which Moderns have rebelled did have at its core a principle that subjected the exercise of will or sovereignty to the test of wisdom.

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