|Publication Date||July 18, 2012|
The purpose of these lectures is generally to consider the circumstances under which Hellenic civilization, properly so called, came into being, and in particular, the origin of that brilliant Ionian society which a French writer has named le printemps de la Grece. Some fresh light and, it must be admitted, not a little fresh darkness have been shed upon the matter by recent archaeological discoveries. Some of these I can describe at first hand: others I am in some position to appreciate from having borne a part in similar research, and having gained experience during the last twenty years of wellnigh all the eastern Mediterranean lands whose divers civilizations had relations with the I onian. On the great interest of this question of Ionian origins to all students of antiquity, nay, to all students of civilization, I need not waste many words. Even in the face of recent discoveries at Sparta, it may be said without hesitation that the Greeks of western Asia Minor produced the first full bloom of what we call pure Hellenism, that is, a Greek civilization come to full consciousness of itself, and destined to attain the highest possibilities of the Hellenic genius. Whatever its claim to absolute priority in culture, however, the Ionian section of the Hellenic race, from the accident of geographical position, served more than any other for a vital link between East and West, and imposed its individual name on Oriental terminology as the designation of the whole Greek people. All who follow the development of free social institutions must regard with peculiar interest the land where the City State of Hellenic type first grew to adolescence.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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