Quick thoughts

Quick thought #1 about Hellenic unity:  The Greeks usually dropped their political differences to compete in athletic contests of which the Olympics was only one event.  Apparently their zeal for sports and religious festivals sometimes outweighed their desire to annihilate one another.
Quick thought #2 about time, space and ‘sense of world’ for the Greeks:
Their boundaries for the geographic world were much smaller than ours.  They thought of the world as extending from the Straits of Gibraltar to India (West to East) and from Africa to perhaps northern Europe (South to North).  Therefore, journeys like Homer’s Odyssey were conceivably considered trips ‘around the world’.  Hindrances to travel both on land and sea drew out the voyages and exaggerated the mental distances that we take for granted today.
Andre
😉

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1 Response to Quick thoughts

  1. March 31, 2008 at 10:18 AM says:

    <p>In terms of scale: I spent some time on Samos last spring–it’s tiny place, with three tiny towns–in one of which on the south coast there’s a (little) statue of Father Herodotus. The ancient population must have been miniscule. The local tyrant, Polycrates, must have been like a plantation owner. I’d guess everyone must have known everyone–and disliked the people in the other towns and hated and feared the people on the nearest island the way small towns in America hate each other’s basketball teams (although outsiders can’t tell the difference between them).</p><p>Henry Seiden </p>

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