In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

The seminal book in twentieth-century medieval studies was Charles Homer Haskins' Renaissance of the Twelfth Century.1 It was a major challenge to the cataclysmic theory of history that had underlain the terms 'medieval' and 'Renaissance' in the renowned study of the Italian quattrocento that Jakob Burckhardt had written in 1860, and that had dominated the field of European historical scholarship for nearly seventy years.2 In place of the Burckhardtian view of the Renaissance as a sudden and violent break with the Middle Ages, Haskins offered a French renaissance in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries that had a Classical Latin basis in the culture of ancient Rome and that in turn provided a groundwork for the larger and more dynamic renewal of European intellectual and artistic life in fifteenth century Italy. Haskins' work served as a catalyst for the American movement that developed in the 1940's as the History of Ideas---a movement that was immensely influential here for decades.3