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A book report on the greek way by edith hamilton

She was the first woman to attend classes in these great European colleges, though she could not pursue a degree, instead she had to audit, watching lectures from s specially-built booth that screened her from the view of her classmate In the late Victorian, an eighteen-year-old Edith Hamilton graduated from Bryn Mawr College.

She was the first woman to attend classes in these great European colleges, though she could not pursue a degree, instead she had to audit, watching lectures from s specially-built booth that screened her from the view of her classmates so they would not be scandalized by female intrusion.

She was not allowed to ask questions, but soon began to tire of the German method.

Review: “The Greek Way” by Edith Hamilton

The professors were always distant from the material, discussing in the greatest depth which verb cases Pindar used while never once acknowledging that he was a poet, or a human being. It recalls one to the scene in Forester's 'Maurice' where a group of young students are reading aloud, translating as they go, on the topic of the glories of male love, while at every other paragraph, the professor instructs them to omit the 'unspeakable vice of the Greeks'.

They must study and translate the text, but never once consider its content or meaning.

The Greek Way

So Hamilton returned to the United States, and to her alma mater, where she became headmistress, continuing her studies and teaching the classics for the next twenty-six years. It was not until her early sixties that she wrote her first book, The Greek Way, which stands in opposition to the German style, seeking to understand and explicate the Greek mind.

  • It is all black and shining white or black and scarlet and gold;
  • The Greeks were not victims of depression;
  • There is, perhaps, no clearer statement of the abiding value of an understanding of the culture and art of fifth-century Athens for later generations than that contained in Hamilton's Preface;
  • Comparison with other nations and cultures of the period emphasizes the distinction Hamilton draws between the life of the mind and the life of the spirit, between the rational and the irrational responses of human culture to pain, sorrow and fear;
  • Allen , director of the United States Information Agency USIA and one of the speakers at the award ceremony, remarked that her interpretation of the democratic spirit of ancient Greece, defined "the fundamental of the democratic ideal itself;
  • We don't really act as if we believed in the soul's immortality and that's why we are where we are today.

This compilation of considerations, assembled at the end of a lengthy career, might be seen as a series of lectures on related topics, each chapter tackling a different author or concept, giving an introduction, facilitating understanding, and gradually, producing an overarching theory concerning the Greek mind and the Greek, himself. It is a most unusually personal look at the Greeks, from someone who spent her life growing near to them, and it is entirely full of extraordinary theories and observations, all backed up by quotes from the great thinkers, not only of Greece, but of all ages.

Hamilton seeks to connect us to Greece, to bridge the gap of time and thought and allow us to think of the Greeks as authors, artists, and people. She removes them from their pedestals and proffers them to us, though not without care, respect, and passion. There is something of a worship for Greek thought and ways here, an attempt to convince us that, despite all we have achieved, we cannot equal or excel the Greeks.

The Greek Way Summary & Study Guide

Hamilton by no means grudges us our growth, our change, our recognition of the importance of the individual, but implores us to learn something from the ways of old Greece. Her encyclopedic use of quotations, her deferring to those who have, for all posterity, 'said it better' is charming, and also connects Greece to the thinkers and artists she inspired, inviting us to understand them by comparison.

I have always been partial to arete, myself; there is no reason we cannot all strive to be wise, sociable, fit, and knowledgeable in every field, from philosophy to history.

The idea that the strong man can afford to be a dullard or the knowledgeable man a scatterbrained outcast is to accept that we should be less than we are. Her comparison between Kant, who was as detached from the world as his theories, and Socrates, who developed his ideas while talking and laughing with friends, shows that a passion for the mind need not make one withdrawn or unpleasant.

After all, Chekhov wrote at his desk at parties, taking characters and ideas from his guests, and has yet to be matched as a psychological realist.

  • Here's why I keep it short;
  • This compilation of considerations, assembled at the end of a lengthy career, might be seen as a series of lectures on related topics, each chapter tackling a different author or concept, giving an introduction, facilitating understanding, and gradually, producing an overarching theory concerning the Greek mind and the Greek, himself;
  • Her encyclopedic use of quotations, her deferring to those who have, for all posterity, 'said it better' is charming, and also connects Greece to the thinkers and artists she inspired, inviting us to understand them by comparison;
  • Reid died on January 15, 1973;
  • She retired in 1922 at the age of fifty-four, after twenty-six years of service to the school;
  • This blog features my Two-Paragraph Book Reviews.

I was also tickled that she used a passage from Tacitus in her definition of 'Tragedy' which I have used as a similar example since being taken by it. That chapter is the weakest in the book, at turns ingenious and unsure. Her observations remain insightful, but are not as polished or convincing as the rest of the book.

  • Shortly after her birth, the Hamilton family returned to the United States and made their home in Fort Wayne, Indiana , where Edith's grandfather, Allen Hamilton, had settled in the early 1820s;
  • She was the first woman to attend classes in these great European colleges, though she could not pursue a degree, instead she had to audit, watching lectures from s specially-built booth that screened her from the view of her classmates so they would not be scandalized by female intrusion;
  • So Hamilton returned to the United States, and to her alma mater, where she became headmistress, continuing her studies and teaching the classics for the next twenty-six years.

She may be right in what she says, but her arguments are incomplete. Hamilton would go on to write two more books, a similar volume on Rome and her 'Mythology', the definitive classroom text. Though she was, throughout her life, kept at arm's length from academia, and is still criticized for being insufficiently scholarly, this book is an achievement, insightful and wide-reaching.

Her conclusions may sometimes be grandiose, but never naively so.

Edith Hamilton

Her personalized, holistic style prefigures much of modern academia, and though it took some time, the world has, at last, caught up with her notion that there is nothing unspeakable about seeking a more personal relationship with our past.