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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

We're Greek to Me! Forging the finest print

The Midas Touch

From the pulpit every Sunday, in every city in the West, a minister instructs a crowd in a book translated from Koine, the Hellenistic World's universal language.

Identifying with Athens, the American and French revolutionaries both chose the neoclassical style for all major public works.

A neoclassical artifact, the Bradenburg Gate, played center on the Berlin Wall throughout the Cold War.

These example are striking, and influences, Hellenistic or not, can't run much deeper than this- or can they?

Physicians still take the Hippocratic Oath, and other institutions of responsibility, the presidency and the armed forces, for example, borrow language from the man most influential to Alexandrian medicine, the fifth-century doc, Hippocrates.

We Are Hellenism

Hellenism is Thomas Jefferson, designing his home, or the City of Chicago, constructing a bronze monument to Michael Jordan.

Hellenism can be these things, and even be cast members being voted off of Survivor, because Hellenism is the spread of Greek culture that started when Philip's troops united the Greeks with their standoff weapons.

The Civic Lord

Alexander's legacy is evident in his civic works, and how they reformed the West. Situated around the agora, amphitheaters, Gymnasiums, and bathhouses stayed with the people longer than the Greeks did.

Helens donated libraries into the modern Middle East and Asia Minor, a little footnote in history that kept the Byzantines and the Arabs out of the Dark Ages.

All The Wonders

Babylon's hanging gardens were probably just a memory by the time, but Alexander's empire either captured or built the other six wonders of the world; building most of them.

The contents of Alexandria's library deserved status, as did the monument collection in Athens, but Pharos is the one on the list moderns can most appreciate, because of its awesome function, and it undoubtedly played a large role in the cities growth as the major commerce hub- as important as the library and location? I don't know about that.

When Europe reached the Renaissance, or rather, when the Renaissance left the Italian states to find Europe, Europeans rediscovered many of the Greco-Roman thoughts, but one entity, the Eastern Roman Empire, or as the Arabs called them, the Greeks, were still hanging on to the legacy of Greece.

Constantinople, a treasure in a location never quite touched any of Alexander's major successors, truly was the best of the Greeks and the Romans packed into a Christian city, when the Crusaders sacked the city, and in effect, started the Renaissance in the first place.

How It Revived

By the time Byzantine disappeared from the map, Venice, Florence, and even Rome housed intellectuals who learned Latin and Greek, learned Aristotle and Euclid, and even recreated the sculptural styles of the ancients.

The authorities, the Roman Catholic Church, endorsed these thinkers to the same status as deities, and charged opponents of Greek thought with heresy, even though the classics gave rise to humanistic ideals counter to the bible.

(I grow up with a fundamentalist religious education, so forgive me if my writing looks militant on this subject. This is just the tone the subject was first taught to me.)

Anyway, Rome and all of Europe promoted the classics all over again, and the age of exploration just tapped off, so Portuguese explorer like De Gama take the teachings everywhere, and other ships land colonists with the teachings to the New World, and there you have it, a dominating church and a looted city help bring the oldies back like new, Shakespeare and Dante revive theater, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison write a few letters, and Napoleon, a Corsican, pales at emulating Alexander.

The Center Of Democracy Summarizes

Today, Washington is a city of neoclassical monuments, running a nation built on classical ideals, while centered on an acropolis called Capitol Hill.

Human history shouldn't fit in a nutshell. It's disturbing.

Published by Typewriter King | 2:18 PM
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