{ } = word or expression can't be understood
{word} = hard to understand, might be this

...of these old imperial civilizations to Greece. Nothing has been denied so much, and nothing has been kept hidden so much as the dependence of the Greeks from tribal and Egyptian background. Our -- it is like a conspiracy. If you talk to any man in the classics -- department, they take it as a personal insult that their beloved Greeks should had -- have had this task of comparison, and of fusion between these two orders. But I'm afraid the name "Poseidon" gives itself away. The word "Poseidon" means the husband of the earth. {"Posis"} is husband. And exactly the name for Osiris, this -- who is the maker of the sea, of {his} { }, Mistress Isis in the sky. So Poseidon, the -- the sea, you see, and the land are wedded, as in -- in Egypt, the Nile and the land. The very word "Poseidon" is -- shows that he is not originally the sea god, which has been stressed by many people before, because his -- the bulls are sacred to Poseidon, you see. He rises out of the -- sea upon the land. It isn't so simple that he -- he is not simply a sea god. But he is the husband of the earth.

And in this sense, he's obviously politically more relevant for the story of Greece than Zeus and Hera, who are in the land districts the prominent ones. But all the islands of the sea, and the real problem of a -- one land for all Greeks, that was only solved by this idea that the sea was the mis- -- the -- the husband and married the land, you see.

This is the vision of Egypt, and the very name "Poseidon," {"Posis"} means husband, and "don" or {"de"} is the same word as "{Gai}." You have it in Demeter, you see. Posei-dei-on is his name, and Demeter is the goddess of the earth, the mother of Persephone. The -- same -- the -- the Latin Ceres, I mean, is the same goddess as Demeter. The mother of ear- -- earth mother.

Well, I mention this only to show you that the whole story of Greeks -- Greece will have to be rewritten in the light of these relations. We -- we have no universal history, so far, that really went before the Greeks and showed that they were something new. People begin the story with Greek and then say, "Something went on before." But that they capitalize, as the Jews, on the existing two orders of the world has not been declared. The last universal history of rank, written 70 years ago by Ranke, begins, "The earth was cultivated and habitated." Then he begins with the Greeks. Well, that's a little too simple, you see. But that's how one could still begin universal history 70 years ago. The -- where -- because they omitted the Bible. The Bible knows of all these phases. There is Adam, there is Noah. There is Israel, you see. And there are the Japhethites, competing with the Jews, these Greeks, with their inventions, and their comparisons, and their trading, and their -- and their seaports. The Philistines are the representatives of

the Greek type of civilization in the Bible, because they live at the coastline, in the cities, you see, and have the silver and the iron at their disposal; and poor David has only stone, you see. He has no tanks. But the -- as you see from the red Chinese, it is possible to fight this way.

Today the Greek story has to be completed, gentlemen. I told you that the Catalog of the Ships is the first high point of the poem, because it means that the Greeks see themselves from the outside, in comparison. We said poetry comes in when a man can see himself and somebody who lives in another order, as friends. Now it is -- was easier to -- for the Greeks to see all those other colonizers, traders, knights who had become ca- -- sea captains move across the ocean. The war experience of the Trojan War enabled all the allies to see each other. You can even now see an Englishman without going crazy, you see, from an independence complex. Because you went to war with them together -- two -- twice. In Boston, it's still hard to find, you see, among the Irish, anybody who can see the English -- in -- in perspective. You know there is a newspaper that every week still brings out a hundred-year calendar of the massacres of the Irish by the British a hundred years before. And they try even to teach the people in Boston the Celtic language, without any success.

That is to say, e- -- the Irish, although they live now in Massachusetts for a hundred years, still are not able to see the British. But the American to a little -- certain extent learn it with the exception of the Chicago Tribune.

And -- humanism, gentlemen, which today is the word by which you express the word "Greek," is the power to see somebody else as -- like you, although living in a different political order. It's terribly important that you add this little, conditional phrase, because it is never mentioned. Here -- all liberals in this country are so very naive about the quality of humanism, gentlemen. Humanism always presupposes the very costly and very tragic existence of two different political orders, and all the wishy-washiness of the liberals comes from this fact that they do not know that it -- the liberal always presupposes that there are two nations, or two classes, or two religions. It's very nice to be tolerant. But somebody has to have faith in one of these orders, and in the other order. And the liberal is very indecided about it. He thinks if all people are just Free Masons, they could all embrace each other, and there would be no war. That is not humanism, gentlemen, as created by the Greeks. Greeks -- the Greeks never overlooked the awful fact that people still lived in different orders, but they made--through poetry, at leisure, accessible to you and me--one niche in your soul in which you could live down this fact, but not more. It wasn't altered. No Greek had -- has ever been able to make eternal peace, or to abolish war, or to abolish slavery, but he could understand a slave. But the slave and the master therefore still remained slave and master.

And it is this idiocy, gentlemen, which today has to be stressed as idiocy, that the humanists, the Greeks have -- seem today to have abolished these things. They have not. They have only made them tolerable, which is something quite different from what the Christians did -- have done, and who really abolished slavery. No Greek has ever abolished anything. Philosophers are absolutely sterile, gentlemen, in the realm of action. They are good for thinking, for books, even for editorials. But they are not able to create, gentlemen, a one-man -- a one world. Because one world are not created by talk, by poetry, but only by sacrifice. And that takes blood. And that is very -- very important today to show you the limitations of the Greek, of the humanistic spirit, just as well as its merit.

The end of the -- of Homer -- greatest poem--The Iliad, gentlemen--gives you exactly the measure of achievement of which any Greek mentality is capable. Again, this last song has been attacked, as the Catalog of the Ships. It is the second climax of the poem. Hector has been slain by Achilles. Achilles is doomed, anyway. He is going to die, but the poet was faithful -- had good taste enough not to show us what everybody knew. Achilles' death is omitted from the poem. And that will happen later. The tragedy is all there, you see. Everybody knows, and he himself knows, that he will not see the victory, the conquest of Troy. That hangs as a cloud over the whole poem.

But the great point in the poem is something quite different. Troy -- Hector is slain, and Priamus wants to have his last celebration of his son's death in a decent funeral. Which, of course, as you remember for any tribal man, is necessary so that the -- the dead can rise from his ashes as a beloved spirit and ancestor. And since Hector has saved the city once more, the whole endeavor, the whole energy of the Trojan people is to secure at least his funeral, his burial, his eulogy. And so Priam dares to set out on his errand to recover the mutilated, and twisted, and sullied corpse of Hector for the funeral.

And he enters the tent of Achilles, and Achilles' first move is to kill this man, the father of his enemy. But he eats his heart -- he -- con- -- { } his heart, and they sit down, and they not only bargain for the corpse, but Achilles invites him to eat with him. And there is the greatest line in the whole Iliad: "After the meal, Achilles looks at Priam. And Priam looks at Achilles. And they behold each other. They beheld each other, and amazement -- amazement befell them," that they were able to take each other's human form in so completely.

Now that is written 3,000 years ago, gentlemen, and it is -- shows you the climax of humanism in the beginning of all Greek {cities}, that this enemy can see the enemy and behold him, you see, and without triumph, without gloating, be surprised. This man who has to live another life, who has to live in the opposite order, whose city is doomed and -- whose life is doomed--in Priam's case,

you see, the whole city; in Achilles' case -- he himself--these two mortals can agree on their mortality. And modern humanism, gentlemen, is so silly, because there is no tragic note about it. The modern Rotarians la- -- meet -- they laugh, a little bit too loudly, gentlemen. Because when two mortals meet, representing their different orders, and interests, and classes, and religions, there is always a tragic note, because they both are doomed to go. They are mortal. They are transient. And all this super-hilarity in America, this cheerfulness, this back-slapping, you see, is a very poor substitute for the tragic character of the human race, gentlemen. And in Priam's and in Achilles' case, this is admitted.

The first discovery of the humanists was, gentlemen, that they were equal in their tragic situation, that both had their limitations, and both had to go. And no modern American cheerfulness, gentlemen, all this -- the op- -- buoyant optimism can conceal this fact, gentlemen, that all these Rotarians, and all these Lions, and all these Elks, when they come home, would like to -- to weep. There is not so much to laugh in life, about. And the more loudly you laugh, gentlemen, the nearer you are to the mental asylum. Your nervous breakdown must follow, and -- or your suicide. And all these -- I always find that the unhealthiness of -- this life in America is that officially you have to be cheerful, and to smile. It would be better if you -- officially you were allowed occasionally to shed a tear. There would be more outlet for reality. Because who are we, gentlemen? Outside the order which we can perpetuate of our family, or our city, or our art, or our profession, or our country, or -- or -- the divine worship, we ourselves, stripped naked to -- into human terms of what all men do, you see, not in this perpetuating endeavor, you see, but outside of it -- you and I ourselves, we -- the only thing we have in common is that we both have to disappear. We both have to go.

So I wished you would buy, by Mr. Rieu -- not by Rouse, please. The wro- -- that's the wrong translation, but by Rieu. They're competing at this moment, unfortunately. By Rieu, either -- both, The Iliad and The Odyssey, gentlemen; give them to your girlfriend and make her appraise and appreciate this. And if she doesn't, don't marry her. Because then she'll -- only wishes to laugh. And girls who must laugh all the time, gentlemen, are not good for marriage. They may good for par- -- be good for house parties, but they belong to the lightweight group of womanhood.

(Sir, although { } from what we can see { } we in our generation have -- can -- can be said about that. I don't think that we as yet have seen or experience anything ourselves.)

You haven't to. You -- in former days, a 14-year-old New England child would be able to meditate over death. Why you don't do this, gentlemen, I do

not know. But you don't. But that has nothing to do with experience. This sword of death hangs over you from the day you are born. And you know it. And you don't wish to know it. You wish to fool yourself with some eternal youth. At 70, your mo- -- your mothers still go d‚collet‚, because they won't admit that death is around the corner. So I mean, what has this to do with experience?

I just -- a few weeks ago, I copied in Massachusetts a poem ab- -- on death written by a 14-year-old girl in the year of the Lord 1803, considering the fate of her own family, you see--she had lost several chil- -- several sisters and brothers--and -- and then considering her own frail existence on this globe. No, Sir; no, Sir. It's an unwillingness. It's a clich‚ under which you live, you see. It's good of course for the whole -- for the whole Coney Island industry that you can be bribed. But you are all completely -- I mean, it's a blindness, and that's -- creates wrong value.

Anybody who omits -- omits death from his daily picture and vision, gentlemen, has thereby necessarily false values. And you spend your money and your time therefore in somehow -- in a -- in a crooked -- in a hunchbacked way, in a wrong direction. You are not the real man created by God if you omit from the picture your own ma- -- mortality. It's obvious. You must, because con- -- you consider yourself as somebody you are not.

I only mean to say, gentlemen, ancient Greece and modern humanism, {although} humanism seems to worship the Greeks--I mean, any modern Platonist, any modern Aristotelian, after all, and any modern literary critic, and anybody -- modern poetry writer--they are all Greeks in their attitude, you see. They are literary men; that's Greek. But they have -- although they are in love with the Greeks, they have--through Christian influence, I dare say--overcome the tragic character of the Greeks. And I have to insist today first, that the Greeks are -- have created poetry. They have created this experience of men, of other ways of life. Where the Bi- -- Bible has only the anathema for the Gentiles, where it curses, where it fears them, where it dreads them, the Greeks open up to them and say, "Why not?" But it does not take away this fact that both can only meet outside the eternal, in the transient.

Gentlemen, the city is eternal. The cla- -- the tribe is eternal. And God is eternal. That is, the Jews, the tribes, and the empires feel eternity whenever they officiate. These people have speech. The poet -- Homer, at the leisure hour, speaks to individuals, that is, to people stripped of their offices. At leisure, we are relaxed, out of uniform. We are informal. { }.

But gentlemen, who is the informal man? The man who is not eternal. You and I, as far as we are informal, are not eternal. You see the difference?

Because we are not involved in the creation of eternity. We after all participate, when we are political beings, in the building up of permanence, of bodies that will outlast you and me. Politics, we said in the beginning--you have forgotten it, of course--only begins when it really includes at least three generations.

Now the listener, the audience of any poetry, gentlemen, is you or me as limited to your own life, enjoying yourself. This very word "self," gentlemen, then has acquired in humanism for the first time an ear, and an eye, and a heart, to suffer by himself. No {Rabbinai} could enjoy a Greek poet, you see, because he would only listen to the war song of his own tribe. The rest was out.

This, what you call "enjoyment," gentlemen -- is bestowed on the self, comes in addition, after you belong to your family, as the child in a family, after you are an American, you see, and after you are a Christian, or a Jew, or a Bahai, or whatever the religion is, which you -- into which you are introduced. And atheism is a religion, too, if you devote yourself to this. If I could only help you, gentlemen, to see how late an invention the -- the self is. A self that can speak comes only into being 1000 B.C. Before, man is not self, but he can only speak as a brick, as a part, as a member, you see, of that which can speak, the community. And therefore, the Greeks discover that there is a moment in which selves can enjoy, delight, relax, you see, become self-conscious. That's very late. Through the poem -- through the poet men can see as -- each other as Priamus and Achilles. That's perfectly abnormal, because they are outside Troy and outside Greece when they meet in this moment of relaxation.

You see, you all begin your thinking, because you are schoolchildren, with self. The self is the first given us, to you. And that is wrong. The self is the fourth-born in your own mental processes. All modern psychology makes this mistake, that it thinks that man is self before he is child, and son of his parents. He isn't. His first consciousness, of any child, is that he's the "thou" of his parents to whom they say, "thou," or "you," or "thee." And he answers, "Poor me." And we still have in English this great tradition, that a decent person speaks of himself as "Poor me," and not as "Big ego." It's a great difference, because me is to whom people speak, you see. "Me" is dependent in a -- as a case in the grammar, you see, dependent on somebody who is the "I," you see. My mother tells Poor Me, you see, that I'll never be any good. but she knows -- she knows better. And Poor Me admits it.

So if -- this -- this important part, you see. You all are Greeks through the school. The schools are the form in which Greek spirit today exists among us. And you believe nothing real outside the schools. We had this discussion about sacred poetry. Nobody outside the schools will have such a crazy idea, that the Bible is sacred poetry. But you believe this stuff. Now it wouldn't do any harm if

you would believe it in its place. But gentlemen, the -- Greek literature, the Greek way of life, this Greek leisure hour, is an addition, a bay window, a -- a -- bar and a din- -- in a--how would you -- a club room, so to speak, at -- on the side.

I now wish to go on and show you that this spirit of Greece has taken on four different forms. The first is the epos -- the epics of Homer. The second is the tragedy. The third is the philosophy. And the fourth is the literature, or the literary criticism, the philology of Alexandria. And we get three simple periods of the Greek mind. We get 800 -- by and large, 800 -- Homer. We get 500 to 400, tragedy. We get 380, as you know -- Plato, as far as -- the academy is founded, 387 -- to -- to 300, philosophy. And we get in Alexandria, from 2- -- well, from 3- -- 290, Aristotle's works are brought to Alexandria right away; it's just fair to say -- write 300, to the -- to Caesar's days, to the beginning of our era, we get Alexandrianism; we get the grammar, and the literary criticism, and the philology, and the poetry -- poetic, the -- the encyclopedias, the knowledge of Alexandria. So we put here Alexandria. And we put here philosophy. And we put here tragedy. And here we put Homer.

Now this would of course be epics, so that you know what I'm talking about. Now the important thing is that this word "po-e-try" enfolds and has a much richer meaning as you today connect with it. In this country, the word "poetry" is in a special fix. Even a playwright, or a novel writer is not called a poet. In Europe, you see, that's different. In France or in -- in Germany, a man is a poet when he masters the word in an inventive fashion. There is no such division between a playwright and a poet. I mean, I'm always going crazy, when you get a man on campus, and you make a distinction between a poet, and a playwright, and a fiction-teller, and you say he has written 33 books: 10 of them novels, and 10 of them poetry, and so on, you see. These are no categories of reality. They are only for the department store manager. And there's where it's come from. Because it's commodities, arranged. But for the character of a man, they have nothing to say. I mean, Shakespeare is -- the Shakespeare of the sonnets and the Shakespeare of the -- of the plays of course is -- the same man. And -- and Goethe, I mean, you can't make any difference between -- his scientific writing, his poetry, his novels, his autobiography, his history. I mean, it's Goethe. There is no such thing as saying Goethe was a poet, in the American { }, you see. He wasn't. Because it was a -- one day he had to write verse and the other day he had to write prose. The truth demands each time another form.

For the Greeks that's absolutely clear. Homer is as much a dramatist, as much as what you call epics. Ha- -- two-third of his poems are drama, where one man serves and the other man serves. And they act, you see, act it out, the gods in Heaven, and the men on earth. If you read Homer, you can never giv- -- use the modern categories of epics, because it is certainly -- all the metaphors, gen-

tlemen, are lyrical poems. Little, really qua- -- just as -- Robert Frost. The best Homeric metaphors and Robert Frost poems have very much in common. That's lyrics. That's drama, from the very beginning. And then there is narratives. But the three are so in- -- interwoven, that you cannot say what you have learned in school, epics, is narrative, you see. Drama is action on a stage, and lyrics is feeling, and -- I mean, in verse -- it doesn't exist for Homer.

Poetry, gentlemen, is -- has -- you have to refill with a much richer content to know what the Greeks meant by "poetry."

So please take it like the -- these -- one of these Japanese tea flowers, this word "poetry." Put it in the hot water, and you let it come to its full grandeur back again. Don't say the Greeks are -- were poets. As long as you use "poet" in this stilted manner in which it is used on campus. Poetry is the creation of loyalties by the word outside your own political group. The creation -- constant creation of new publics, new audiences, you see -- any book, gentlemen, if you see who buys the book, well, dif- -- people of different classes, people of different religions -- they are reunited. Three thousand people buying one book form for this book, and on the ground of the magic spell this book cast over them, for 10 minutes one audience. Don't you? And that's magic.

They are -- you know in -- in -- acoustics, when you put your sand on a glass plate, you can electrify it, and then the sand moves into special figures, the Chladny's acoustic figures, have you heard of this? The -- the -- it's very beautiful. You can move by the fork -- tuning fork these -- the sand to -- to -- enter into all kind of harmonies, all kind of forms. Have you -- who ha- -- you have seen these? Who has? Well, gentlemen, physics is very poetical. So if you don't take poetry, take physics. But -- I -- pay attention to the important things. The -- the -- these figures of Chladny--that was the man who first observed them. C-h-l-a-d-ny--can teach you a lesson, gentlemen, that we too are, under the impact of sound, constantly made into groups, constantly move into different groups. Any speaker does this to you, because you go and listen to him. And you are together with people you never see before and you never see afterwards.

Have you never -- has it never dawned on you, gentlemen, that the function of the lecturer, the function of the book is to get you accustomed to the constant regrouping of your life, you see? It's tremendous interest to think: how often do the American people regroup, you see, by an intellectual influence? Well, in America, very -- very little, because nobody reads books anymore. These magazines have their firm clientele. You read Esquire, and the ladies read Vogue. And in France, it's different -- or in Europe, where a book is -- creates a sensation. And creates a new public. And they recognize each other by this book, you see. Not by the Book-of-the-Month Club. But by the one book which has something

to say, which you cannot say of the Books-of-the-Month Club book. That's all here, you see, much more sterile. The book here does nothing to you, because it comes to you by lottery, or by accident, or by -- because it's so cheap, or it's a bargain, or something like that. The book that must -- can create a new public must be discovered by everyone. The way they -- putting over now this Road to Eternity, you see, can show you what you must not do about books, or any bestseller, I mean. That will not regroup any -- any two Americans. That's just a douche, a -- downfall.

But real books, gentlemen, will group a public. I mean, out of the -- if -- 50 people take one text to heart, they afterwards are the 50 people united by this text. This is unheard-of before the Greeks got into history. You can see this, you see. Before -- before you ...

[tape interruption] this country, his real friends were of course the people who shared his readings. And these were not the farmers of Virginia.

You have in Jefferson a very good case, you see, of the -- what it means to be half priest, and half member of your own tribe. Most Americans lead this double life. Most Americans say they are democrats. But besides, they're Greek. That is, they -- they -- they go to school in Boston, and in Florence, or in -- in the Sorbonne, or in -- in Oxford, which means that they have one public, you see -- audience, you see, and one co-listening group, you see, and another to be politically united with. That has been in America -- it is so important that I must mention it. Because -- the -- Europeans think of course that the Americans are great liars. Because they see this, that the American has two -- two ways of life. One visiting the European { } very nice with them, but then withdrawing when political responsibility arises and suddenly being back to Kansas City, and serving the machine there. And the Europeans say, "Well, where do they belong?" You don't know, you see. Here, you praise -- you are interested in everything cultural here in -- Europe, but when it comes to anything decisive, you are somewhere else: you are a Democrat or a Republican in America. The Europeans are at home, but their poetry is part and parcel of their own political life. The political order in France is formed of -- by the literary factions. This -- course would be un- -- unthinkable here, you see. There's a strict division.

Only to show you, gentlemen, that all these terms are--which I mention there as -- as about the Greeks--are of recent application. The Americans would simply be bored stiff by their whole politics, if there hasn't -- hadn't been this Greek literature always swimming across the Atlantic Ocean, and feeding their minds, and keeping them entertained and interested. From Mr. Jefferson -- now

you compare just Washington -- George Washington and Jefferson, and you see the difference. George Washington didn't have to be fed by interesting literature. He was such a stable man and -- he could be bored with such distinction that you didn't -- he didn't have to be fed by the latest news, or by the -- intricacies of Greek -- French philosophy. But Jefferson was quite different.

Now Washington never flattered the populace. Washington never said, "I'm like everybody else." And he wasn't. Mr. Jefferson, however, on the onehand side has given you this tremendous -- flattery of the -- of the demos. "Oh, we are all brethren." But then look at his life, and look at Monticello. And look at his real correspondence, you see. These were all people in the literary world all over the -- Europe. And that really tasted good. That was the spice of his life. Well, otherwise he would be -- have been bored stiff at home.

Now please admit this to yourself, gentlemen. This country is full of hypocrisy, because the American doesn't see that he wants to -- must live in two worlds. It isn't a unified world in which you wish to live, because you wish to have your town meeting, and your votes, and your election campaign in one style. And then you wish to have quite a different society in which you are a hybrid, in which you are superior, in which you are witty, in which you are -- in which you do not { }, behave with the low-brows, but where you feel that you share the Olympic delights of the Muses.

Now, all right, gentlemen, if you know what you owe to the Greeks. But -- what I -- resenting is the unawareness of the complicated life a modern man wishes to live, and I think he should live. But he should know it. And he shouldn't mix metaphors.

Practically, gentlemen, pacifists, idealists, the world-government people and so, are all people who mix metaphors. They all want to have the cake and eat it, too. They are all -- cloudy, because they don't know where they have to be liberals, and where they have to be fighters, and where they have to be family members, and where they have to patriots. It's very clear where they have to be, one or the other.

Gentlemen, when the -- Homer had sung, and when these cities of the -- Greece had sprung into existence, they--in the light of Homer--went once more to war against the Persians. That is, Homer came true. What had been the result of a war--the Homeric epic--was applied once more. Now the gift out of the Persian Wars has been tragedy. That is, it couldn't be Homer again, because Homer had done his work in the political order of -- to their own surprise, finding the Spartans and the Athenians; the royal, you see, here, and the democrats, able to fight side by side.

So as you know, right after the Persian War, Aeschylus, the greatest tragedian of Greece--and of all history, you may say--writes his Persians -- that is, description of the impression made by the Pers- -- the victory of the Greeks on the Persians. A typical Greek attitude: let's see the other fellow, you see. The Persians are not laid out in the Greek camp, but they are laid out in the Persian camp. Absolute humanism. "The other fellow, who is my victim, interests me." That's the Persians. And that was one of the four -- first tragedies written by the -- Aeschylus. I hope I don't have to spell this gentleman's name, Aeschylus. Or is anybody in doubt about it? You'd better make sure that you know who he is.

Gentlemen, what is a Greek tragedy? The Athenian tragedy is able to compare the heroes of the various cities who have founded them, and to make available to one audience in one city the heroic traditions of Thebes, of Sparta, of Mycenae, of Delphi--that is, of any city in Greece. That's the Greek tragedy. The difference between the Dionysian cult with which it's -- today very often -- is -- is mixed and confused, you see, between the real cult and the tragedy is that in the tragedy, many cities can deliver, so to speak, their -- up their hero to the Greek -- to the Athenian public. So that an Athenian can sit here and hear the story of the hero of Thebes -- of Oedipus, you see, as -- with the same -- not with the same, gentlemen, not with the same, but at leisure, with great affection, but not with the religious impact -- it would have been if Oedipus is enacted in Thebes. You see that there is a great difference.

Poetry has enabled the Greeks to concentrate into one city's theater the heroic tradition of all Greece, and thereby every one of these heroes became -- underwent a change. He became, as you call them today, the hero of a play. Gentlemen, the hero of a play is not the same as the hero of history. Play is play. It's a second degree of reality. It's a reflection on the cult. But it is not the cult itself.

Funny enough today -- since the days of Mrs. Ban- -- Miss Bankhead, it seems always to me that in America, the word "play" -- conveys to you seriousness, and the word "seriousness" con- -- conveys to you unreality. Because actresses and actors today are the only real people in this country -- I know. And playwrights. But gentlemen, play is play. And so I have to make a certain effort to convince you, gentlemen, that when a hero becomes a hero of a play, he no longer is a hero.

[tape interruption] the old sense, because he has given up the -- the -- the preserve in which he is only known to his followers, to his faithful. And he is only shouted into being by the hale, hearty cries of his believers. In the play, you can sit and

applaud the poet who has conjured up the hero. That's quite unthinkable in a cult, that you applaud the priest. There the hero comes first and the priest comes second. In the play, I'm afraid, the puppeteer comes first and the puppets come second.

And so, gentlemen, again I have to try to show you on the one-hand side the greatness of the achievement of Greek tragedy, this bringing into the -- one city the many heroes. But in the same breath, I have also to warn you, gentlemen, to see that there this change takes place between Aeschylus and Oedipus. The poet Aeschylus is more -- means more in the affection of the Athenian citizens of course than the hero on the stage, because Aeschylus is an Athenian, and Oedipus is not. And one is the hero of a play, and the other is a poet of the city. And there you see this revaluation of values whi- -- to which you are accustomed, by which you make the poet in a certain way more real than the hero. There is this great danger of this over-valuation of the artist.

Now in Greece, it is only natural that Aeschylus is the man who does to the Athenians--what does he do, gentlemen? He makes them the royal city, the imperial city of Greece, because here is a city where every other Greek can feel at home, because here he meets halfway his own { }.

The leadership of Athens is based in the 5th century on the tragedy, because there is this liberal generosity with which the -- the Athenian says, "I can look you into the face, Oedipus, I"--or Agamemnon, or Clytemnestra, or Helena--and "I can understand you."

The word "understand," gentlemen, is very much forgotten today in its proper meaning. I won't go into detail, but you can already see that it means to stand under the cloak, the -- the mask of the person, and for a while feel as though you understood her. That is, you were the understudy. You were really able to wear for a moment this person's role and mask. It's very much -- you see, understanding without play-acting is unthinkable. That's humanistic. All understanding is to take for a moment somebody else's place. We don't know things without such understanding. You only know somebody if you can for a moment say that you would act in the same way as this other person.

Now the third stage, gentlemen, is philosophy,. When the Athenian republic, so to speak, didn't deserve any more to invite the other Greeks to their -- its own {greatness}, when the Athenian empire fell, the man who would have become otherwise the next Aeschylus--Plato--turned philosopher. In the succession, gentlemen, of Greek achievement, it is quite obvious that Plato, born in 49- -- in 510 as Aeschylus, would have been Aeschylus. There was no greater thing to do at that time than to do this. But living 120 years later, Plato deserts Athens and

creates the best state.

But now, again on the same humanistic principle, he makes accessible to the people who are fed up with their own city--in the first place, the Athenians, you see--he makes accessible to them this philosophical, ideal world of the acad- -- -demic ivory castle -- ivory tower. And he creates what you all are enjoying at this moment, the college spirit. He creates the spirit of comparison outside responsibility, the complete leisure. A leisure not enjoyed by the man -- the audience that goes to the Dionysian for four days, and not enjoyed by the audience that listened to the Homeric poems in the evening after meals, but creating a situation in which people came together for years, with the explicit purpose of enjoying each other. "Liberal" meant in Greece, of course, the moment of leisure. And a -- the great idea of the philosophers of Greece, gentlemen, is not what they taught. Please take the sociological line: the great thing is what they -- was that they invited people to a lasting symposion, to a dinner party of four years' length, as you do, you see, or endless length, that the musical -- attempt of the Muses is now given a special home, a place of enjoyment forever.

It is very strange that such simple things do not ex- -- occur in any history of philosophy. Because people in philosophy have -- in all history have never been able to see, it seems, social forms. -- But I invite you to see people listening to Homer at a banquet, to see people move on the great holidays of Athens out to the Dionysian theater and sit there in the sun -- for days, you see, to listen to this competition, to these various -- tragedies. And then now you see suddenly what it meant when Plato said, "This cannot be something in the calendar of a cit- -- one city, in the calendar of one king's court, of one prince's court. We have to -- cannot rely anymore on the king's court. There are no kings to speak of, so to speak, and we can no longer rely on the almanac, on the holidays of the community, if the community is corrupt. So we have to create a -- a roo- -- a space, gentlemen, a locality, regardless of calendar." And that is the Greek academy, gentlemen. The schoolhouse has, by itself, for thinking, for enjoyment of thought, no calendar. It's timeless. And that is the addition, the step taken from the first layer of poetry, Homer; across the second layer of poetry, tragedy; into the third, philosophy. But when you read Plato, gentlemen, there is just as much epics in this, and just as much tragedy as there is philosophy in your modern sense of the word. And you're quite mistaken if you try to say, "Oh, the myth in Plato, there are poetical element in Plato." Don't you see how nonsensical this is? It's a different mixture of the same components. Just what I tried to tell you about the Old Testament, that in the Prophets, there are of course also facts. And in the -- in the first five books of Moses, there is also prophecy. But there the mixture is different. The accent is different.

In the same sense, gentlemen, you cannot omit from Plato any of the

ingredients of drama, and of poetry, of epics without spilling the milk, without misund- -- misreading the man. Anybody who has ever -- read the Phed- -- Phaedrus, knows that his description of the -- of the -- of the brook, and of the meadows, they have given -- they have been -- immortalized Plato. I mean, all through the 19th century, whether it was Mr. H”lderlin, or Swinburne, he quotes of course Plato for his poetical description of the landscape in which these two friends sat down and began to talk about love, and -- and Eros.

It is scandalous, how in this country, because you have to have a department-store knowledge, everything is -- is sawed into pieces, sawed -- the -- I always see this buzz-saw. It is the most cruel mentality an American has. He wants to slay the life of everything beautiful. You are cruel, gentlemen, because you are contemptuous. You have no respect for these products of the imagination. Because you don't do it, you have no idea how they are produced. They are produced by blood, and tears, and sweat. A genius, gentlemen, is a great sufferer. And you have no respect for these people. You want to know what's in it, the kernel, the wheat. What does Plato say? He says nothing but what he says. That is, the whole dialogue is what he says, and not some idea in the Parmenides. You cannot prepare -- out of this beauty of Plato's philosophy some nice little thing, one sentence which you were meant to learn. He never thought this way. He wanted to invite you to march, and walk at leisure through the halls of meditation and imagination. And you don't -- are not able to learn it. Of course, these -- these -- these tiny-level books which you read about Greece -- they're just scandalous. I mean, Will Durant and -- this business. You are ruined by them. Read the texts, gentlemen. Read Homer first, The Iliad and The Odyssey. You can buy them for 35 cents, but nobody does it. You think you have to get a -- a leather edition from your aunt for your confirmation and never read it.

No, gentlemen. Go and buy it, and you will be surprised, gentlemen, how -- how strange that is. In the Greek literature, gentlemen, every -- the whole outcome is known at the first moment. There is absolutely no detective story. There is absolutely no happy ending. There is absolutely no surprise. All the things you think is necessary for poetry -- what you call poetry, this Hollywood business --. You know in The Odyssey, when you open the first verse, what the end will be. And you know the same in the -- any tragedy. And you know it in the philosophy, about the death of Socrates, too. You know when you open the Criton, that at the end Socrates will be dead. And you read this with the greatest rapture possible, because there is no such silly surprise about the facts, because you learn how to live through the fact.

The whole problem, gentlemen, of humanism, the whole problem of the Greek comparison is to make life lived as it is already known, in a human way, in a leisurely way, in a free way, di- -- dig- -- worthy of a free man. Now as a man

who knows that there are other ways of life, but that, just the same, he has to persevere in his own way. And this gives to him this transfiguration that he is no longer, so to speak, bitten, possessed by the spirit of his city or his tribe, you see, no fanatic, but that he can know that it is the human way to choose one to one, and another man to another way of life. It's this pluralism which gives the man the poetical faculty to see himself in other ways of life reflected, and thereby enriched.

And so gentlemen, never read about the Greeks. If you spend half an hour on a Greek text, from beginning to end, you have more than when you read the fattest volume on the civilization of Greece. It makes absolutely no sense, because these are all little abstracts. They destroy the form. And in Greeks, the form is there, the content. There is no distinction. You cannot shorten any book in -- of the Greeks. You cannot. They have tried it with Homer, you see. And they have tried it with tragedy. They report to you in five lines the content of this story. Well, you don't have to read this nonsense. because these five lines are -- then it's finally not worth looking at it. But you actually believe that it is more clever to know something after having read five lines; reading time: 1 minute, 19 seconds, you know in -- in -- in -- the Redbook, or in -- in -- in any of these monstrosities, which they -- where they even -- they tell you they have measured by the clock what they are going to produce, which is of course a contradiction in terms about leisure. How can a man be at leisure who knows what the time -- clock says, you see? What the clock strikes. It's out. You have no leisure. You are all hunted animals.

But the Gre- -- that's what I have to say about Plato, gentlemen. Don't misnome him a "philosopher" in your sense of the word. I mean, he hasn't been a barber, and he hasn't been -- dealt in tin cans. And he's nothing of the kind. But every one dialogue is a day of his life--or a week of his life--lived. And that's why -- why it is written, to give a picture how a man of leisure can live, which is very difficult to {conceive}. Most of you wouldn't be able to. You are all -- I mean, you no longer bel- -- belong to the generation of men of independent means. They were all Pla- -- Platonists in the sense that they didn't have to have a Platonic philosophy, but they had a style of life by which the days flowed in their even course. In -- in Gray's famous poem, you have the Greek -- the Platonic attitude. That's a Platonic dialogue, you see. And if you once, gentlemen, can see that the Elegy on a Churchyard by Gray is Greek, and that has not to be called a poem, and the -- a Platonic dialogue a piece of philosophy, then you have won out. Then you have learned something. Then you can compare, yourself. Then you have risen to the level of the Greeks who could compare, and see each other metaphorically, you see. Priam in Achilles, and Achilles in Priam.

Now just read any -- read the Phaedrus, and read Gray's "Elegy on a

Churchyard, and then go to -- say "Go to hell" with your categories of poetry and literature. I have discovered that Gray is in 1730 -- I don't know when he wrote this. Is it? By and large. When did he write it?

(17- { }.)


({ }.)

Well, I know this, too, yes. But I thought you knew the year. My guess is between 1718 and 1730.

Well, then you are free men again. And you have lost this generosity of your heart, gentlemen, to compare yourself human value. Don't be betrayed by all these classifications, gentlemen. There is no such thing as poetry, because it is in rhyme or verse. That's all {nonsense}.

You have to learn that Plato is Homer 400 years later, and that Gray's Elegy on a Churchyard is Plato in the 17- -- 18th century. Then you have won. And Pope is not, because he just translated. The translator doesn't do the same, what the original does. But the man who is original in his own time can -- might do the same as the man in another time.

Pope is nothing compared to Gray.

Now the last step, gentlemen, the Alexandrinians. After Athens -- went to pieces, the -- the disciple of Aristotle, the last -- no, the last mayor of Athens whom -- Platonist, Demetrius of Phalerum, in 304 fled, because they had a Hitler in Athens by that time. It seems that all great cultural centers like Germany or Greece end in the most beastly performances of divini- -- deifying some -- some dwarf. So they had their Hitler in 304 and made him a god, a corporal called Demetrius, and -- a Macedonian. And the real Platonist, the -- who had been the previous mayor and was a nobleman like Plato himself, fled to Alexandria, and took with him the manuscripts of the Academy library, and also probably Aristotle's -- grammar. And so founded then successfully the great museum in Alexandria. And the museum, gentlemen, in Alexandria, was not a museum but a library. The meaning of the word "mouseion" was that it was dedicated to Muses. { }, where does the -- of the memory of the -- literary world, the creative world, you see.

So the word "museum" you should also bring to life again, gentlemen. "Mouseion" once was a living thing. It was a meeting place for free spirits. Not

for pictures. If you want to revive the Mellon Art Gallery in Washington, you -- would introduce bathrooms in -- in the entrance, and force all these poor people who come in from the street who want to see the nudes first to wash themselves, so that they might be prepared to see these beauties. It's a wonderful museum, gentlemen, but when I see the people who go to this museum, I pity the nu- -- the pictures. Because the people who go there have no leisure. And the people who go there are not transformed into enjoyers of leisure, you see. They do it is a -- as a piece of duty to add to their -- to their education, I -- . Mouseions have nothing to do with education, gentlemen. You are -- we are so run down that is -- really think museums are for children to be educated.

Museums are also like the Academy and like the -- the time -- the banquettime after dinner, and like the worship of the Dionysians in Athens. They are ways of life. And we have not found a way of life. The first thing a man who goes to a museum should do is to take off his shoes, and to wash, take a bath and -- and dress in silk. Then he has perhaps--as the Japanese, by the way, and the Chinese, do--and they are right. They are the only people who still to this day live the Greek way of enjoying the arts. That is, they admit that you have to become ready for them. We don't do anything about this. With your dirty fingers, you grab anything. How can you enjoy it?

The art is not accessible to people who in the last minute run there and try to grab a {piece}. There is an inner preparation which is completely lost today. A -- priest before Mass doesn't eat. Well, gentlemen, if you go to the Mellon Art Gallery in Washington, you have to do something beforehand, too. Otherwise you get these very unhappy faces in front of these pictures. These people are obviously suffering agonies. Here, they come from the street with all their moral -- moral indignation about one girl that has not enough to wear on the street, and then they are the next minute confronted with the nudes. Now how can they make this transition, you see, of moral indignation on the street and of complete moral surrender, as it must seem to them, you see, to this -- to this side of God's creation, you see, of a human body? He has to make -- that -- it doesn't work that way.

I always am so surprised how proud man is. I admit my weakness, gentlemen. I can't perform this kind of --. I'm too weak, too sensuous, too impressionable. And I always wonder how ladies, and girls, and students, and matrons, and ministers, and politicians pretend that they can. Obviously I'm just an imbecile. I'm too frail for this world. They can go from a sermon to a museum, or from the street, as I say, to the museum, without any transition. And then they can go through 10 -- halls and see 500 pictures. Well, gentlemen, if I go to a museum, the most I can take in is four pictures. And that's already a great effort, and after I have, had -- burning feet, and I'm completely exhausted.

[tape interruption]

I don't understand it. Obviously it's a -- a different ra- -- human race. But I have a hunch, gentlemen, that I'm nearer to the painting and the pic- -- painter than you are, that I have a greater right to see these pictures, and I'll get more out of them, and they are painted for me. They were not painted for these poor schoolchildren and college girls who are led through by guides, through one of these European or American museums. That's a misunderstanding.

Now why do I say all this, gentlemen? To bring to life the greatness of the word "mouseion," The word "mouseion" is a place where the Muses are alive, not dead. But you take it for granted that the mouseion is a place where everything's dead. The custodian is a veteran with one leg left, and you are people just sweaty, dirty, coming in from the street. Nothing left. Funny idea. And they are wonderful places. I mean, the American public has been very generous in building up these museums. But I don't think that the -- the according effort has been made to create this {lack} of leisure time {insufficient}, { } that we ourselves have to become a part and parcel of this thin atmosphere, so to speak, this electric atmosphere of a mouseion.

Now gentlemen, in this mouseion, there was created a great survey of the epics of altern- --.

[tape interruption]

...of all the texts of antiquity, of Greek texts, has been, so to speak, been censored. What the people in Alexandria did not recognize as genuine, you see, would be stigmatized, for example, as a forgery, and what they decided to be as genuine. This is very important for the texts of Homer. Our Homeric text, as we have it, is a text of the year of the Lord 250. And we can't go back on this. We can't get behind it. We have no means, except a few quotations in Plato. But there again, it was equalized. Plato again was edited in Alexandria, so if there was a quotation from Homer, obviously, a good grammarian in Alexandria, you see, would say, "Well, now this verse has to {include} that." So there's nothing we can do.

So it is quite interesting, gentlemen, that we have not Greece, but Egyptian Greece in our memories. To us, the mouseion is after all a city in Egypt. Think of it! Our beloved Egypt, you see, of -- or my beloved Egypt, I don't know if I made you love it, you see--here comes to life again. So close are the -- are the bonds of all these forms of life that in the last chapter of Greece, Egypt has to serve as the custodian, as the deposit. Like the First National Bank in Boston now has to serve as a deposit for all French values, you see, which are a little bit

precious, I think. Like -- Magna Carta was brought over from London, and here put in a safe. In the same way, Alexandria, the em- -- imperial city, was still more solid at that time than Greece. And they all came there. And it is the Egyptian form of Greece, which we now know. Whenever you learn a French text, gentlemen, or German text, or a Spanish text, or an English text, it is all seen through the glasses of the -- an Alexandrinian grammarian. What you learn about indicative, and about genitive, and about dative, and about infinitive, this infinitive especially, all Greek. And it's Alexandrinian Greek. You don't know one word about your own language without using a concept coined by the Greek grammarians. This is very strange. I'm trying very hard to replace this Alexandrinian grammar today by a new grammar. And I therefore know what power it constitutes in the world. For 2,000 years, gentlemen, everybody in the western world has believed that the grammar of language was as the Alexandrinians thought it was. It isn't. I think it's a wrong grammar. But all the more do I admire its stability, and its potentiality, its power.

You all live by a wrong grammar. But the grammar is the mouseion's grammar, which made the Muses live. And you see here -- you remember the translation of the Bible into Greek, that was done in Alexandria in the 3rd century B.C.? You remember what we said about it, about the importance of this translation, that the Jews hoped, that now the whole world, through the Greek idiom would turn Jewish?

Now it's very interesting, gentlemen. In Alexandria all the roads of the universe meet. It's a great place. And you have to see that in one minute, before the coming of Christ, it seemed possible that the ancient world could perform its own cycle without renovation, without regeneration. Here were the Greeks returning to Alexandria, with all their Muses, all their gift of comparison, offering to the -- these introvert Egyptians for the first time means to understand other people. And on the other hand, you had the Jews bringing the revelation of the real future to this benighted world of animals, and temples, and -- and cycles, and eons, and -- and numbers, and figures, and hieroglyphs.

And this -- year of the Lord 250 B.C. therefore is a remarkable time. The Greeks take in all the other civilizations. They translate the Bible. They understand the Egyptians, you see. And they think through their structure. And the others all learn Greek. It was a tremendous school-- you may say a prep school for Christianity--which was thereby created in Alexandria. And St. Paul, when he preached -- makes his first speech, quotes one of these Alexandrinian poets, Aratus, because this Alexandrinian thought was the {khoine}, the common -- the lingua Franca of the whole western world.

We have something like the Books of Wisdom. By the Books of Wisdom,

or what you call the Hagiographa. You call them { }. What- -- what's your name? { }?


{ }. { } Book of Wisdom, the Proverbs, and the Book of Solomon, you remember they broke -- they stopped { } the wall of the law, and took the place of the law by taking in Greek thought, and equalizing Greek thinking at its prime, { } music thinking, and Jewish thinking. In the same sense from the Greek side, you may say that the last chapter leads out of Greece--of their story. Homer, the Greeks; facing the enemy, yes, but being at home. Tragedy, the Athenian empire. Philosophy, one city for all men of good will in Greece, you see, in the -- who can read Greek -- the Greek language and understand. And -- now in Alexandria, the meeting ground, you see, for everybody and all.

So you see in the -- in our fourth chapter, we have really tied the other three chapters also together. And -- being now in Alexandria, you can see what has been achieved, what has not been achieved. It is still so that once a tribesman, always a tribesman, you see; once an empire, always an empire, you see; once a Jew, always a Jew. And so the antiquity is at an end. They know of each other, but they can't change. The next cycle gentlemen, in our own era is obviously concerned with the problem: how is it possible to be one and the other? How is it possible to break this cycle of antiquity, this either-or? And that's the story of our era. ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ» º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º EUGEN ROSENSTOCK-HUESSY º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º

º º º º º UNIVERSAL HISTORY - 1951 º º º º LECTURE 1 º º º º &desig& º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º TRANSCRIPT indexed separately º º º º º º COPYRIGHT (c) July 31, 1997 BY HANS R. º HUESSY º ALL RIGHTS RESERVED º º REPRODUCTION BY PERMISSION ONLY º º º º º º º ÈÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍͼ