Thursday 5 November 2020

No colonial guilt in the 3rd century BC


'So now, in the first place, I shall recount the ancient ordeals of our ancestors, drawing remembrance thereof from their renown. For they also are events which all men ought to remember, glorifying them in their songs, and describing them in the sage sayings of worthy minds; honouring them on such occasions as this, and finding in the achievements of the dead so many lessons for the living.' 

Lysias, one of the ten Attic orators included in the "Alexandrian Canon" in the 3rd century BC. 


  1. No, nor qualms about exposing that extra child.

    "... it irritates us to see men of culture and intelligence go down on their knees before the iron and marble religion of antiquity. Everything that is gentle and sensitive and movingly beautiful in modernity comes from Christ."

    (Pages From the Goncourt Journals, edited by Robert Baldick, entry for 20 April 1867)

    Should we dismiss as "woke" Samuel Johnson, who hated to hear of discoveries since they led to conquests?

  2. Everything that is gentle and sensitive and beautiful comes from Jesus Christ? Interesting idea and to a great extent right. But pagan Greek poetry contains much beauty. The only love story before Christ was Dido' love for Aeneas in Book 4 of the Aeneid, as far as I know. I love Dr Johnson and I sympathise with his view. The Gonvourt diaries is one of my favourite books.