Hellenic History


Book Details

Author  George Willis Botsford
Publisher  Forgotten Books
Publication Date   June 18, 2012
ISBN  1440073295
Pages  564

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The purpose of this volume is to present in brief scope the evolution of Greek civilization a culture simple in its essential unity, although seemingly complex in its many and wide ramifications. In the conviction that the chief aim of history is to explain the present, the author has centered his attention on those phases of Greek life which have influenced to a marked degree the civilization of today. In the case of the Greeks, perhaps more than of any other people in the worlds history, the state was the highest embodiment of social and cultural life. In the free air of the city-state the liberty loving Greek found not alone his inspiration but untrammeled opportunity for expression and development. In the Athenian democracy of Pericles, the city-state reached its logical consummation; for the first time the citizen could give free rein to his individualism. The successful struggle with the placid yet insidious civilization of theO rient gave self-confidence, purpose, and solidarity toG reek life. To embryonic genius the wealth and broadening influence of empire furnished boundless opportunity and inspiration. In coping with the burdens of imperialism, however, this very spirit of individualism proved a serious weakness. Political control passed, though not without long and bitter struggle, first to militaristic Sparta, and then in turn to more efficient masters Thebes, Macedon, Rome. It is tragedy in its highest form that the Greeks reached a solution of their political problems too late for rescue from foreign domination. And yet it redounds to the glory of Greece, that in spite of political and economic vicissitudes, the artist and the philosopher continued to create products of even greater refinement and broader humanism. The narrative has been based, therefore, on the story of political evolution. However, the reader will note many striking omission
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)

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