As the Romans were the most notable organizers and preservers, the Greeks were the most brilliant originators of Western civilization. The Greeks gave the world a new concept of the cement of the state, a new concept of what could hold the community together - free men making their own laws for themselves. No such possibility had ever been considered before. This is the dynamic principal that the citizen is free not only because he obeys laws but because he frames and changes them.

Greece is spoken of as the rough goat in Dan 8:21. Athens held the first rank, and study there was held indispensable to a Roman youth wishing to distinguish himself. Christianity was first planted there by Paul, who visited Philippi, etc. The Jews and the Greeks appear to have little intercourse with each other, until after Alexander overran Egypt, Syria, and the east. They then began to come into contact everywhere, for both races were widely dispersed.

The Jews extended the name of Greeks to include the people conquered and ruled by Greeks; and the word is thus nearly synonymous in the New Testament with Gentiles. The Greeks were a vivacious, acute, and polished, but superficial people, compared with the Jews. They excelled in all the arts of war and peace; but were worshipers of beauty, not of duty. Thus the contribution of Jewish thought to the political heritage of the world has been seminal, the idea of the brother-hood of man, of "one world", is deeply rooted in the conception of monotheism as transmitted through the Bible. By contrast, polytheism made it difficult for the Greeks to see the basic oneness of mankind, and their religious pluralism reflected their inability to transcend, intellectually and institutionally the confines of the city-state.

Greek remained the language of the eastern part of the empire, and even in the western part Greek was the language of learning. Though old-fashioned Romans at first complained, intellectual Romans soaked up Greek culture, often reproducing it, like Lucretius or Cicero, in Latin garb. Greek slaves were the tutors of rich Roman boys, Athens the city of culture and pleasure, Alexandria the city of advanced learning. The Romans did not themselves practice medicine, this explains why the greatest of the medical practitioners were Greeks living in Rome. Morally, the culture of the Greeks shows nothing of the distinction that belongs to it on the intellectual side. They were not eminent in moral culture, they were the first of all peoples, nevertheless, to make conduct a subject of study; to arrive at fixed principles of right and wrong.
[07, 54, BD, 380, 393, 394, 396, 402]

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