The Greek Genius and Its Meaning to Us

The Greek Genius and Its Meaning to Us

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From the preface: "When I began to teach Latin and Greek, a friend asked me what I supposed myself to have learnt from them, and what I was trying to teach others. This book was written as an attempt to answer the question, as far as Greek is concerned. It was written to inform, primarily myself, secondarily my pupils. It is therefore intentionally popular, and, like the poems of Lucilius, designed neque indoctissimis neque doctissimis: it uses modern illustrations, and tries, as far as possible, to put what it has to say in a readable form. I hope it may serve as a general introduction to the study of Greek literature, and for that purpose be acceptable, not only to such students or teachers of the classics as feel themselves to be in the class indicated above, but also to the considerable public who take a humane interest in what Greece has done for the world. For my intention has been to try and make the spirit of Greece alive for myself at the present day, to translate it, as far as I could, into modern language, and to trace its relationship to our own ways of thinking and feeling. If I do not apologize for the manner in which this ambitious task has been executed, it is not because I have no misgivings. Few people could write a book on this subject, and feel satisfied with it. Still, if I am not convincing, I shall at any rate be contentious, and educationally the second quality is perhaps more valuable than the first. On the same grounds I would excuse myself for having raised many questions which are left half-answered: the method may stimulate readers, if it does not satisfy them. 'The Greek Genius' is an unsatisfactory title for a book which says nothing about Greek politics or Greek sculpture; but 'the Genius of Greek Literature' was too narrow for my purpose, and 'Some Aspects of the Greek Genius' which I should have preferred, was already appropriated: so that the present name has been adopted, and the exact scope of the book indicated in the introductory chapter (see esp. pp. 13, 4). That chapter also explains who, for my purposes, ' the Greeks' have been taken to be; it is intended to safeguard the book against certain obvious criticisms, and may well be omitted by general readers who are not concerned with these points. As I am writing for a general audience, I have either quoted in English or else translated my quotations. For Thucydides and Plato I have generally made use of Jowett. Gaps in the quotations are not indicated unless they affect the general sense of the passage. For a book of this kind an index is of little value, and I have therefore substituted a full table of contents."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 84 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 4.83mm | 181.44g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1514397161
  • 9781514397169