The Glory That Was Greece: A Survey of Hellenic Culture & Civilization

The Glory That Was Greece: A Survey of Hellenic Culture & Civilization

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The Glory That Was Greece: A Survey of Hellenic Culture & Civilization

The Glory That Was Greece: A Survey of Hellenic Culture & Civilization

Read FREE!

Excerpt

With the progress of research, classical scholarship tends more and more towards narrower fields of specialisation. Real students are now like miners working underground each in his own shaft, buried far away from sight or ear-shot of the public, so that they even begin to lose touch with one another. This makes an occasional survey of the whole field of operations not only necessary for interested onlookers, whether they happen to be shareholders or not, but also serviceable to the scholars themselves. The task of furnishing it, however, is not an easy one. No man nowadays can be as fully equipped in archæology, history, and literary criticism as were great writers of general history in the last century like George Grote and Theodor Mommsen. We are driven, therefore, to one of two courses: either to compile encyclopædic works by various writers under slight editorial control, or else to sacrifice detail and attempt in a much less ambitious spirit to present a panorama of the whole territory from an individual point of view. The former plan is constantly producing valuable storehouses of information to be used for purposes of reference. But they tend to grow in bulk and compression, until, like the monumental "Paully-Wissowa," they are nothing but colossal dictionaries.

The writer who attempts the second plan will, of course, be inviting criticism at a thousand points. He is compelled to deal in large generalisations, and to tread upon innumerable toes with every step he takes. Every fact he chronicles is the subject of a monograph, every opinion he hazards may run counter to somebody's life-work. He will often have to neglect . . .

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