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Classical Humanism and the Challenge of Modernity by Bas van Bommel

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Preface

The desire to write this book arose out of my teaching. About thirteen years ago, I decided to study Classics at the University of Amsterdam because I was deeply in love with the ancient Greeks and Romans. Having read worrying amounts of Romantic German literature in my adolescent years, I strongly sensed that the classical world was permeated by a kind of mysterious spirit that infused its cultural expressions with a nearly sacred aura. For a long time, it was the most normal thing in the world to me to look upon classical antiquity as a singularly blessed epoch of rare significance and beauty. My unbridled enthusiasm was only challenged when some ten years ago – by a complete coincidence – I started teaching. From one moment to another ...

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