Looking for some others I might find kinship with who loved the Greeks
He dedicates this book, The Tyranny of Greece over Germany, to the goddess Athena. He spends the preface doing a dance to convince the reader there is no connection between the revival of the Greeks and Nazism – okay, buddy. Published in 1933. He probably is trying to save his own hide.
Remember, bringing back the ancients was one of the main factors that led Germany to having a Renaissance similar to the Italian one, and in our postwar setting people can’t think very clearly about this. Luther and Ficino were near-contemporaries- difference is, Luther despised “the pagans”. So it took a while for them to percolate into Germany.
Intrissting, he says that taking away Catholicism is what led to them being interested in the Greeks
In a word he destroyed the mythological element of Christianity, that poetical combination of beauty and truth for which they have ever since been seeking
People don’t know about this, this could help Americans too
the nature of the inspiration emanating from Winckelmann’s miraculous discovery of an absolute standard of beauty for his countrymen, the so-called Greek perfection which has haunted the dreams of German poets from that day to this.
It’s no surprise I find a study with this title either
Wut, wut’s this, I’m going to have to do a post on this
Shakespeare’s hatred of Homer’s heroes, so defiantly manifested in Troilus and Cressida
I’ve always focused on the quarrel between philosophy and poetry, and not enough on the quarrel between poetry and poetry. Anyway, it wasn’t that the Germans were exclusively “pious” toward the Greeks, they were influenced by them arguably more than any country in Europe, and they also rebelled against them more fiercely than anyone else.
Heh, I was right that he wrote that preface to save his hide. It’s so clear the Nazis inherited the Greek spirit from his words.
This is about mid 18th century
Banished for over a century from Europe, Greek literature was seeking admittance again. It was next to impossible to procure the texts
Winckelmann was reading them in the original during this time. Learning about those different “elementals” from earlier, the heroes, histories, and the Ideas. This was a time when not being Christian meant you were a pariah in society. How it began in Germany though was the love he had for the beauty he found in sculpture. Ideas, or eidos, translates to that which is seen, form, shape, figure, so that seems natural. It was from there that the German spirit dialectically ascended to “seeing” the forms. The Asians and Muslims don’t have anything like the Greeks. They’re what made the West special. Also they’re what gave us our present collective schizophrenia. Let me put it this way- there wasn’t a vastly more advanced system of thinking that preceded Confucianism or Islam. With our Christianity, that IS the case. That’s why I always talk about Athens and Jerusalem, we still have not synthesized them! In the same way the Greeks were banished in Winckelmann’s time, they are simply misinterpreted today to mesh with modern ideas. Plato is more thoughtful than the cathedral can handle, just as he was for christendom. People are content living on pulp because they still cannot “see”. Their sight is like their taste. America forces itself to forget what the Germans learned from Greece. Old Germany is like its own statue. Most can’t even appreciate that, and the Ideas found there are so far beyond it.