Friday, January 08, 2021


The Land

Werner Jaeger, Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, tr. Gilbert Highet, Vol. III: The Conflict of Cultural Ideals in the Age of Plato (New York: Oxford University Press, 1944), p. 173:
There is a new spirit in Xenophon's Oeconomicus. The world of farmers and peasants has realized its own worth, and has become capable of showing forth its own very considerable contribution to civilization. The love for the country which comes out here is equally far from the sentimental rusticity of the Hellenistic idylls, and from the yokel farce of Aristophanes' peasant scenes. It is quite sure of itself. It does not need to exaggerate the importance of its own world. Although we need not generalize the phenomenon of the literary farmer, it is still true that Xenophon's book shows the land to be the imperishable and eternally young root of all human life.

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