Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Greek Way. Edith Hamilton (11).

Time, Inc. 1930 (11).

Why read It? The Athenians were a people who lived their view of truth which was many-sided and often contradictory. They accepted and lived the contradictions. They were individuals who also participated in the community. They were poets who were also soldiers. They needed to suffer in order to achieve exhilaration. The ancient Greeks’ view of life is summed up in this quotation from Edith Hamilton’s The Greek Way: “The Roman games played an important part in the life of the Romans, but, as has often been remarked, the Greeks played; the Romans watched others play.” P. 320.

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, his brother Robert F. Kennedy was completely distraught. His sister-in-law Jackie Kennedy gave him a copy of The Greek Way. That book enabled Robert to survive the tragedy in his life. The Greek Way provided a model for how to deal with tragedy.

The purpose of this blog? To find interesting ideas in books.

“The fullness in life is in the hazards of life.” P. 221. ………. “…there is that in us which can turn defeat into victory.” P. 221. ………. “…Aeschylus sees mankind, meeting disaster grandly, forever undefeated.” P. 223. ………. “The innocent suffer—how can that be and God be just?” p. 234. ………. “…the men of his generation must have realized far beyond others, that pain and error have their purpose and their uses; they are stops on the ladder of knowledge.” P. 235. ………. Aeschylus: “God whose law it is that he who learns must suffer.” P. 235. ………. “…Aeschylus’s insight into the riddle of the world has not yet been superseded.” P. 235. ………. Sophocles: Quintessence of the Greek. ………. “Tragic pleasure, Schopenhauer said, is in the last analysis a matter of acceptance. Acceptance is not acquiescence or resignation. Acceptance is active, not passive. Acceptance accepts life, showing clearly that thus it must be and not otherwise.” P. 238. ………. “Athens had brought to birth freedom for the world, and then straightway turned to compass the destruction of her own glorious offspring.” P. 239. ………. Sophocles: “The long days store up many things nearer to grief than joy/ …Death at last, the deliverer.” P. 239.

To be continued.

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