The teacher should properly qualify his statement to read, “A matter of the utmost importance to me personally is this or that,” or, “A matter of the utmost importance to those who wish to get a good grade in the course is…” The teacher might in his gloomier moments amplify his reservations; he might ask himself what, if anything, is important in history.
But these are specialized importances; I am concerned rather with Importance in the large sense, Importance for the nonunprofessional reader, who has the blessed privilege of stopping when he is bored.
If one examines a set of current historical textbooks, one sees that their authors agree pretty closely on what is important.
The earliest reference that I have discovered to a button in Europe is in Robert de Clari’s account of the coronation of Baldwin of Flanders as Emperor of the East, in Constantinople in the year 1204.
By the end of the thirteenth century there had been an explosion of buttons in western Europe, and they were standard equipment in the fourteenth.