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Athens in JerusalemClassical Antiquity and Hellenism in the Making of the Modern Secular Jew$
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Yaacov Shavit

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774259

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774259.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Waking the Dead—Greece as an Ideal and an Exemplar

Waking the Dead—Greece as an Ideal and an Exemplar

(p.21) 1 Waking the Dead—Greece as an Ideal and an Exemplar
Athens in Jerusalem

Yaacov Shavit

, Chaya Naor, Niki Werner
Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the phenomenon of Hellenomania, or Greekomania, as it occurred within Western European culture. The imaginary Greece and Greeks were Europe’s longed-for image, with which it conducted a profound, fervent, incisive, and ramified discourse. Primarily, ‘Greece’ signifies the intense desire to seek the origin and paradigm of a perfect and complete secular world. Its creation was the result of a poignant yearning that grew out of the recognition of a lack, and out of an aspiration for redemption. The ideal of ancient Greece was a central part of the different ideological, political, and aesthetic streams and sub-streams which were active in the spirit of Europe of the time. It was not only the philosophical heritage of classical antiquity that inspired the intellectual life of Europe; it was classical antiquity whole and entire, as a living entity. Different cultural and social trends gazed at the Greek mirror in order to understand their nature and essence, to be inspired, to seek a model, whether positive or negative. The image of Greece was thus interwoven into the ideological reactions and responses to industrialization, nationalism, mass society, and secularization.

Keywords:   Greece, ancient Greece, classical antiquity, Hellenomania, Greekomania, secularization, Europe, Greek model

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