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British Writers on Classic Lands
     

British Writers on Classic Lands

by Albert S. G. Canning
 
From the beginning of the first chapter:

DURING the last century the most celebrated countries of the ancient world in Western Asia, Northern Africa and South-Eastern Europe have evidently been more explored, examined, and written about than at any previous period; yet their elucidation owed comparatively little to the natives of these interesting lands. Neither

Overview

From the beginning of the first chapter:

DURING the last century the most celebrated countries of the ancient world in Western Asia, Northern Africa and South-Eastern Europe have evidently been more explored, examined, and written about than at any previous period; yet their elucidation owed comparatively little to the natives of these interesting lands. Neither the Arabs in Asia or Africa, nor the Turks or Persians, or even the modern Greeks, have given much assistance in the investigation of their ancestral countries. This grand enterprise was chiefly, if not mainly, due to the learning, energy, and resources of the western European nations. It was from Britain, France, Germany, and Italy that industrious explorers, animated by literary instruction and strengthened by the warlike powers of their rulers over sea and land, have chiefly brought to light the many partly concealed wonders of the ancient world, while to Spaniards and Portuguese the discovery and conquest of the larger part of America were mostly due. These last two nations, however, as if exhausted or engrossed by their enterprises in the New World, have left both the peaceful investigation, as well as the military conquest of the Old, almost entirely to northern and western Europeans. The ancient lands of Assyria, Egypt, and Palestine have found, among many others during the nineteenth century, the British writers, George Rawlinson and Austen Layard, enthusiastic scholars, combining the knowledge of classical writers with the energy of enterprising travellers. These men, living fortunately in a time of prevailing Christian power or influence, were thereby protected, strengthened, and encouraged by their European rulers and fellow-countrymen. Thus aided by such national advantages these writers, as well as some subsequent ones, were enabled to impart safely the results of their efforts in works of the highest antiquarian, as well as historical, value. Among the most successful of British explorers and discoverers in the last century are Rawlinson in his translation of Herodotus, the great "Father of History," and Layard by his discoveries in Assyria. Of their peculiar importance in relation to those in other lands Layard observes:

"Through them may be traced the origin of many arts, of many mystics and symbols and of many traditions, afterwards perfected and made familiar to us through the genius of the Greeks.... We knew nothing of the civilisation of the Assyrians except what could be gathered from casual notices scattered through the works of the Greeks. From their evidence, indeed, we are led to believe that the inhabitants of Assyria had attained a high degree of culture at a very remote period. The testimony of the Bible and the monuments of the Egyptians on which the conquests of that people over Asiatic nations are recorded, lead to the same conclusion."...

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781500426590
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
07/05/2014
Pages:
298
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.62(d)

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