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Eratosthenes was the director of the great library of Alexandria, the Centre of science and learning in the ancient world. Aristotle had argued that humanity was divided into Greeks and everybody else, whom he called barbarians and that the Greeks should keep themselves racially pure. He thought it was fitting for the Greeks to enslave other peoples. But Erathosthenes criticized Aristotle for his blind chauvinism, he believed there was good and bad in every nation.
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We believe that the Greeks have been punished through [the Crusades] by the just judgement of God: these Greeks who have striven to rend the Seamless Robe of Jesus Christ ... Those who would not join Noah in his ark perished justly in the deluge; and these have justly suffered famine and hunger who would not receive as their shepherd the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles.
Pope Innocent III
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Could truth perhaps be a woman who has reasons for not permitting her reasons to be seen? Could her name perhaps be--to speak Greek--Baubo?... Oh, those Greeks! They understood how to live: to do that it is necessary to stop bravely at the surface, the fold, the skin, to adore the appearance, to believe in forms, in tones, in words, in the whole Olympus of appearance! Those Greeks were superficial--out of profundity!
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The Jews had a love-hate relationship with the Greek culture. They craved its civilization but resented its dominance. Josephus says they regarded Greeks as feckless, promiscuous, modernizing lightweights, yet many Jerusalemites were already living the fashionable lifestyle using Greek and Jewish names to show they could be both. Jewish conservatives disagreed; for them, the Greeks were simply idolaters.
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The Greeks believed that it was a citizen's duty to watch a play. It was a kind of work in that it required attention, judgement, patience, all the social virtues." "And the Greek were conquered by the more practical Romans, Arthur." "Indeed, the Romans built their bridges, but they also spent many centuries wishing they were Greeks. And they, after all, were conquered by the barbarians, or by their own corrupt and small spirits.
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The Greeks had had vast experience in this world, their imagination had been fertile and they had created much...that, in these circumstances, they should fall in with a people imbued with a calm and sometimes stolid and bucolic certainty where its spiritual possessions were concerned, barbarians with no sculpture or breeding, necessarily tinged their contempt with impotent wrath. The inevitably logical result of this attitude on the part of the Greeks was the growth of anti-Semitism, of hatred of the Jews.
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Legion, cuneum formate!' Reyna yelled. 'Advance!' Another cheer on Jason's right as Percy and Annabeth reunited with the forces of Camp Half-Blood. 'Greeks!' Percy yelled. 'Let's, um, fight stuff!' They yelled like banshees and charged. Jason grinned. He loved the Greeks. They had no organization whatsoever, but they made up for it with enthusiasm.
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Ancient philosophy was framed by prodigies, Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. And even though their thoughts were deemed the aristocratic voice, they also had a thing for little boys. Katherine the Great so it's been said, needed large animals to be fulfilled in bed. From historic rulers to the Ancient Greeks, we're standing on the shoulders of freaks. Isn't life pretty? Earnest Hemingway once said, then he a bullet through his head. Salvador Dali's surreal paintings were God sent, you'd never know he ate his own excrement. Then there's Da Vinci for whom it required, dressing in women's underwear to be inspired. From the great romantics to the Ancient Greeks, we're standing on the shoulders of freaks. Truman Capote needless to say, would be intoxicated 20 hours a day. From the modern authors to the Ancient Greeks, we're standing on the shoulders of freaks.
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I shall speak only of the part I have stayed in- the districts of Lakes Ochrida and Presba. Here there are Greeks, Slavs, Albanians, and Vlahs. Of Turks, except officials and such of the army as may be quartered on the spot, there are few. The Albanians, I believe, are all Moslem. Should there be any Christians they would be officially classed as Greeks. A large part of the land near Lake Presba is owned by Moslem Albanians as ' chiftliks '(farms).
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Three classes inhabited the city (Alexandria in Egypt): first the Aegyptian or native stock of people, who were quick-tempered and not inclined to civil life; and secondly the mercenary class, who were severe and numerous and intractable...; and, third, the tribe of the Alexandrians, who also were not distinctly inclined to civil life, and for the same reasons, but still they were better than those others, for even though they were a mixed people, still they were Greeks by origin and mindful of the customs common to the Greeks.
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If it's art or literature you're interested in, I suggest you read the Greeks. Pure art exists only in slave-owning societies. The Greeks had slaves to till their fields, prepare their meals, and row their galleys while they lay about on sun-splashed Mediterranean beaches, composing poems and grappling with mathematical equations. That's what art is. If you're the sort of guy who raids the refrigerators of silent kitchens at three o'clock in the morning, you can only write accordingly. That's who I am.
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Experts in ancient Greek culture say that people back then didn't see their thoughts as belonging to them. When ancient Greeks had a thought, it occurred to them as a god or goddess giving an order. Apollo was telling them to be brave. Athena was telling them to fall in love. Now people hear a commercial for sour cream potato chips and rush out to buy, but now they call this free will. At least the ancient Greeks were being honest.
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I think the Greeks first took astrology to India and took from the Hindus the science of astronomy and carried it back with them from Europe. Because in India you will find old altars made according to a certain geometrical plan, and certain things had to be done when the stars were in certain positions, therefore I think the Greeks gave the Hindus astrology, and the Hindus gave them astronomy.
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The Greeks believed that once there were no male and female, that all souls were one. Then the souls were torn apart, male and female. The Greeks thought that when you found the other half of your soul, your soul mate, that it would be your perfect lover But I think if you find your other half, you would be too much alike to be lovers, but you would still be soul mates.
Laurell K. Hamilton
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People knew there were two ways of coming at truth. One was science, or what the Greeks called Logos, reason, logic. And that was essential that the discourse of science or logic related directed to the external world. The other was mythos, what the Greeks called myth, which didn't mean a fantasy story, but it was a narrative associated with ritual and ethical practice but it helped us to address problems for which there were no easy answers, like mortality, cruelty, the sorrow that overtakes us all that's part of the human condition. And these two were not in opposition, we needed both.
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Logic is the subject that has helped me most in picking stocks, if only because it taught me to identify the peculiar illogic of Wall Street. Actually Wall Street thinks just as the Greeks did. The early Greeks used to sit around for days and debate how many teeth a horse has. They thought they could figure it out just by sitting there, instead of checking the horse. A lot of investors sit around and debate whether a stock is going up, as if the financial muse will give them the answer, instead of checking the company.
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Science only means knowledge; and for [Greek] ancients it did only mean knowledge. Thus the favorite science of the Greeks was Astronomy, because it was as abstract as Algebra. ... We may say that the great Greek ideal was to have no use for useful things. The Slave was he who learned useful things; the Freeman was he who learned useless things. This still remains the ideal of many noble men of science, in the sense they do desire truth as the great Greeks desired it; and their attitude is an external protest against vulgarity of utilitarianism.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
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