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Chapter 16 - The
Wealthy families, particularly in Northern Italy, achieved notoriety for their endowment of the arts, placing relatives in important positions (such as the papacy), and killing rivals. During the dark ages there arose cathedral schools originally established to train the clergy but increasingly came to be used to train the children of nobility.
The Renaissance saw the emergence of universities that became avenues to secure positions in law, theology, and medicine. Having originated out of the guild tradition of exclusivity and control of access to advantageous employment, universities became a gateway for families to assure their relatives of positions of influence as they continually maneuvered to advance their family fortunes.
Satan had been able to establish systems of education, finance, and religion such that the natural tendency of humans to follow selfish interests could be directed into channels that would advance his plans. With education what had begun as a desire to learn more about God, over the years morphed into first the administration of church rituals, then into scholastic arrogance and even to the point of denying the existence of God. When the Muslims invaded Constantinople, many refugees brought their books with them giving the West a heavy exposure to classical Greek writings.
Satan had timed the invasion of the Byzantine capital with the development of printing technology so that the intellectual class would have access to the 'great minds' of classical antiquity. As a result, intellectual interest in the things of God diminished in favor of the opportunity to prove one's mettle with the great minds of the past.
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