FUSTEL DE COULANGES THE ANCIENT CITY PDF

Nov 29, D. Fustel has an interesting thesis. According to him we tend to romanticize the Greeks and Romans along rationalist lines, while neglecting the fact that not only were the mass of them following ancient religions, those religions were the basis of their laws. The earliest belief was about how the soul was still tied to its body after death. He then goes on to show how successive governments enshrined the old religion, and over time dethroned each of its axioms.

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Nov 29, D. Fustel has an interesting thesis. According to him we tend to romanticize the Greeks and Romans along rationalist lines, while neglecting the fact that not only were the mass of them following ancient religions, those religions were the basis of their laws. The earliest belief was about how the soul was still tied to its body after death. He then goes on to show how successive governments enshrined the old religion, and over time dethroned each of its axioms.

The book ends with the introduction of Christianity. Putting flowers on top of a grave today is eerily close to the old offerings of food to the dead back then, and he compares the old, local gods of then to the near-worship of Catholic saints by some today. I was fascinated by the devotion of family daily dedication to keeping sacred fire alight on an altar in each home. Such personal religious activity was time consuming and extensive.

Relationships between the living and the dead were very real and woe-betide the man who did not have a son to look This very detailed, yet easy to read, well translated work explaining the evolvement of religious beliefs and rites, along with political changes, in Greece and Rome and India , is most interesting. Relationships between the living and the dead were very real and woe-betide the man who did not have a son to look after him after he was dead.

Thus a male dominated society evolved and women could not inherit. The book covers several centuries and we see the changes as they evolved in the religious and political scene over the years. We learn how eventually Rome acquired empire. It is an area I had not studied previously so I found it educational; at the same time, concise and entertaining.

The language is quaint and this adds to the read. Orators were little heard there, and there was little discussion. More generally there was simply a vote of yes or no, and a count of the votes. Such were the characteristic traits of the Greek and Italian cities during the first period of their history.

Man no longer offered God food and drink. Prayer was no longer a form of incantation; it was an act of faith and a humble petition. The soul sustained another relation with the divinity; the fear of the gods was replaced by the love of God.

Christianity introduced other new ideas. It was not the domestic religion of any family, the national religion of any city, or of any race. It belonged neither to a caste nor to a corporation. From its first appearance it called to itself the whole human race.

If this area of history interests you, then I think you would enjoy this work very much. It seems quite unique. There are extensive footnotes and references for further study. Overall: a most enjoyable read.

EMV MITSCHRIFT PDF

The Ancient City: A Study of the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome

In these works his distinctive qualities were already revealed. His minute knowledge of the language of the Greek and Roman institutions, coupled with his low estimate of the conclusions of contemporary scholars, led him to go directly to the original texts, which he read without political or religious bias. When, however, he had succeeded in extracting from the sources a general idea that seemed to him clear and simple, he attached himself to it as if to the truth itself. From to he was professor of history at the faculty of letters at Strasbourg , where he had a brilliant career as a teacher, but never yielded to the influence exercised by the German universities in the field of classical and Germanic antiquities.

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