1: "A cloud of critics, of compilers, of commentators, darkened the face of learning, and the decline of genius was soon followed by the corruption of taste. 2: "...this age of indolence passed away without having produced a single writer of original genius.... 3: "The authority ... still reigned in the schools; and their systems, transmitted with blind deference from one generation of disciples to another, precluded every generous attempt to exercise the powers, or enlarge the limits, of the human mind. 4: "The name of Poet was almost forgotten; that of Orator was usurped by the sophists." 5: -Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 6: Cleaner(97): Plot has always had strange ideas [quoted with permission] 7: TheDonald(97): PlotinusRedux is too biased and brainwashed to change but he is intelligent and well educated enough to have learned to listen and converse despite a closed mind. 8: dufferdelux(97): Plot be 100% korrek on diz wun.