The thoughts of great thinkers are almost always distorted or misunderstood by their contemporaries. The explanation is almost axiomatic. In large part their greatness is a combination of novelty and depth, and most ordinary people, even intelligent, ordinary people, find it very difficult to assimilate new thoughts and especially those that are profound.

(A. P. Martinich, Hobbes: A Biography [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999], 346)