9. The Roman Discovery of Greece (The Greeks and the Others)

Here is a series of lectures given by Sean Gabb in 2022, in which he discusses the influence of the Greeks on the other peoples of the Ancient World. For reasons of politeness and data protection, all student contributions have been removed.

This ninth lecture in the course discusses the Roman discovery of and response to the Greeks. This response is unique, so far as it involved a large importation of Greek culture into Roman life and the imitation of Greek literature in Latin. Topics covered include:

  • The completeness of Greek influence on Rome
  • The Greek embrace of Rome
  • The Roman embrace of Greece
  • From imitation to original composition
  • Whether the Greeks learned Latin

The Greeks are perhaps the exceptional people of the Ancient World. They were not saints: they were at least as willing as anyone else to engage in aggressive wars, enslavement, and sometimes human sacrifice. At the same time, working without any strong outside inspiration, they provided at least the foundations for the science, mathematics, philosophy, art and secular literature of later peoples.

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