The legacy of hellenic harmony

In Brian Leiter & Michael Rosen (eds.), The Oxford handbook of continental philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press (2007)
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The intellectual history of Germany in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is sometimes compared to the philosophical achievement of Athens at the very height of the classical age. Both were tremendously fruitful periods, which saw the birth of revolutionary philosophical systems that inspired a fantastic intellectual commerce among new and rival schools of thought. The plenitude of references to Greek mythology in literary works from Goethe and Lessing to Schiller, Novalis, and Hölderlin; the burgeoning interest in classical philology and the translation and transmission of works of antiquity; and the growing interest in the history of skepticism in ancient Greece; all are instances of a widespread preoccupation with Hellenic thought and culture that persisted throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth century. The intellectual associations between many seminal thinkers during this time make it easy to trace the transmission of this enthusiasm from one figure or group to another.



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Jessica N. Berry
Georgia State University

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