He took some part in the political events of the time; in 994 he was a hostage in the hands of the Northmen, and he was not unfamiliar with the actualities of war.
It is strongly coloured with his enthusiasm for ancient Rome; and specially upon the topic of artillery it displays a want of insight into the actualities of modern warfare.
Schelling and Hegel thought it was infinite reason; Schopenhauer, unconscious will; Hartmann, unconscious intelligence and will; Lotze, the activity or life of the divine spirit; Fechner, followed by Paulsen, a world of spiritual actualities comprised in the one spiritual actuality, God, in whom we live and move and have our being.
Almost at the same date that visionary revival of the Western Empire, which had imposed for six centuries upon the imagination of medieval Europe, hampering Italy and impeding the consolidation of Germany, ceased to reckon among political actualities; while its more robust rival, the Roman Church, seemed likely to sink into the rank of a petty Italian principality.
His writings divide themselves into dissertations upon such topics as the "Liberality of Princes" or "Ferocity," composed in the rhetorical style of the day, and poems. He was distinguished for energy of Latin style, for vigorous intellectual powers, and for the faculty, rare among his contemporaries, of expressing the facts of modern life, the actualities of personal emotion, in language suffPciently classical yet always characteristic of the man.