The Re Emergence of Greek Culture in the Western World

Topics: Byzantine Empire, Roman Empire, Ancient Rome Pages: 3 (886 words) Published: September 3, 2013
The burden of history lies heavily on Greece. In the early 1990s, as new subway tunnels were being excavated under Athens, Greece's museums were being filled to overflowing with the material remains of the past: remnants of houses from the Turkokratia (the era of Ottoman rule); coins and shops from the period of the Byzantine Empire; pottery remains from the Greek workshops that flourished during the Roman Empire; and graves, shrines, and houses from the classical period when Athens stood at the head of its own empire. The glories of ancient Greece and the splendor of the Christian Byzantine Empire give the modern Greeks a proud and rich heritage. The resilience and durability of Greek culture and traditions through times of turmoil provide a strong sense of cultural destiny. These elements also pose a considerable challenge to Greeks of the present: to live up to the legacies of the past. Much of the history of the modern state of Greece has witnessed a playing out of these contradictory forces. The re emergence of Greek culture in the western world is due in large part to the work of Arabic scholars and the renaissance. The rebirth, or re-naissance, was seen largely as a movement away from the darkness, barbarism and superstition which characterized the prior era. In contrast, scholars and thinkers of the Renaissance self-consciously saw their own time as a reflection of the much earlier societies, namely those of classical Greece and Rome. The works and philosophy of the Ancient Greeks such as Aristotle, Plato, Euclid, Pythagoras and Romans, particularly Cicero, were all influential in terms of shaping the Renaissance sensibly. In Italy, first, and then France, England, Germany and the Netherlands, this association with classical antiquity, catalyzed efflorescence in the arts and sciences. Similarly, the Renaissance would also generate a philosophical outlook that would place categorical man at the center of human interests, activities and concerns. The...
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