Greek Ideals: A Study of Social Life

By C. Delisle Burns | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
THE AFTERGLOW

WHEN the vitality had gone out of Greek experience and the originality out of Greek literature and philosophy, there still remained for many years a radiance in which subordinate details of the ideal became more prominent. As water on a distant hill seems brighter at sunset when the colour has gone from the trees and the grass, so after the fourth century one can make out some features in the landscape of Greek experience which were not so clear before.

Our task is not historical; and therefore we shall not trace the gradual development of the ideals first expressed in the fifth and fourth centuries. But certain features in the Greek conception of life, which did not appear until after the fourth century, are not necessarily new in that later time. The polis had decayed and Greek life was no longer politically or economically or even intellectually independent; and the result was an emphasis upon aspects of life which had not appeared hitherto to be so important. Artistically the later period is generally condemned as decadent, although that criticism is probably due to a perverse and antiquated moralizing rather than to clear aesthetic

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Greek Ideals: A Study of Social Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Greek Ideals i
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents xi
  • Greek Ideals 1
  • Chapter II - The Anthesteria 13
  • Chapter III The Panathenaia 22
  • Chapter IV The Dionysia 39
  • Chapter V The Eleusinia 51
  • Chapter VI Politics 72
  • Chapter VII 98
  • Chapter VIII The Fifth Century 115
  • Chapter IX The Old School 132
  • Chapter X Socrates 162
  • Chapter XI The Philosophers 192
  • Chapter XII Plato on Right Action 200
  • Chapter XIII Plato on the Ideal Man 213
  • Chapter XIV Plato on Education 230
  • Chapter XV Plato on the Ideal Society 241
  • Chapter XVII The Afterglow 293
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