That long-lived ex-Quaestor of Theodoric the Ostrogoth – he died in 583 – if a supple and servile politician, was the greatest single contributor to the preservation of learning in the barbarized West…But for him and the learned turn he gave to Benedictine labours it is possible that no Latin classic, save Virgil, would have reached us complete.
C. W. Previté-Orton The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953) vol. 1, pp. 286-7.
Mores autem graves in spectaculis quis requirat? ad circum nesciunt convenire Catones. quicquid illic a gaudenti populo dicitur, iniuria non putatur. locus est qui defendit excessum. quorum garrulitas si patienter accipitur, ipsos quoque principes ornare monstratur.Cassiodorus
Quid enim illa praestantius, quae caeli machinam sonora dulcedine modulatur et naturae convenientiam ubique dispersam virtutis suae gratia comprehendit?Cassiodorus
Mater criminum necessitas tollitur.Cassiodorus
Prima enim grammaticorum schola est fundamentum pulcherrimum litterarum, mater gloriosa facundiae.Cassiodorus
Grammatica magistra verborum, ornatrix humani generis, quae per exercitationem pulcherrimae lectionis antiquorum nos cognoscitur iuvare consiliis. hac non utuntur barbari reges: apud legales dominos manere cognoscitur singularis. arma enim et reliqua gentes habent: sola reperitur eloquentia, quae Romanorum dominis obsecundat.Cassiodorus
The men who ushered in the Dark Ages were men like Theodoric and Cassiodorus, who were intent on restoring the cities, preserving the statues, and transcribing the classics. Their adoration of the ancient world was matched only by their inability to understand it, for by the time that they were born, classical culture was already dead. They were the first of the great medievals and began to build a new civilization in an attempt to restore the old.Cassiodorus
The great merit of Cassiodorus, that which shows his deep insight into the needs of his age and entitles him to the eternal gratitude of Europe, was his determination to utilise the vast leisure of the convent for the preservation of Divine and human learning and for its transmission to after ages.Cassiodorus