Greek Sculpture: Its Spirit and Principles

By Edmund Von Mach | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI
THE INDIVIDUAL: SOUL AND BODY

Athens had hardly forged to the front and begun to put her stamp of the noblest conception of life upon the world, when the folly of some of her own people entrapped her into a disastrous war. Not fifty years after the last Persian was driven from Athens, the Peloponnesian war broke out. It lasted nearly thirty years. When peace was declared Athens was no longer the mistress of Greece. She never regained her political ascendency, but neither the war, nor the Roman yoke that followed with the centuries, nor the Goths, nor the Turks, nor any other power has been able to shake her influence over the most refined minds of the ages both past and present. It is not an overstatement to say that nobody is, or ever can be, an educated man who has not come under the ennobling influence of Athens. However we may look upon classical training, the man who does not get it in some form or other lacks that quality which makes of him a man in the truest sense of the word.

The map of Greece was altered -- her intellectual superiority continued undiminished. The changes, therefore, that took place in her art cannot rightly be explained,

-262-

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