Echoes of two cultures
The theme of Echoes of Two Cultures is the transmission of two cultures through legend, how the ideals and moralities of ancient Greece and Rome have inspired and informed successive civilizations to the present day.
The legends of Cyrus the Great, from the early Greek world, and Lucretia, of early Rome, recount stories of transgression of rights; the first against a people, the second against an individual. The Greeks of the time of Cyrus, in the 5th century BC, believed that history taught them about an inexorable and divinely ordained law of ethics meant to punish the overweening transgressor. The citizens of Lucretia's Rome were motivated by a solemn respect for the sanctity of women and of the home. In both legends, it is an individual woman's courage and determination that brings the offender to his rightful doom, although, in the process of this retribution, both women suffer great loss.
Young shows how the telling of these great legends, which have gathered strength and beauty from each retelling, echo down through the centuries and throughout the Western World, influencing and enlightening societies and individuals.
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THE STORY OF CYRUS THE
THE STORY OF LUCRETIA
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ancient artists arts Astyages Augustine Bandello beauty Bibliotheque Boccaccio British Museum brought Brutus Cassius Dio chap chastity Chaucer child Christian Christine de Pisan classical Collatia Collatinus cretia Croesus Ctesias culture Dante death Dionysius divine document early editions Education of Cyrus English Europe example Fasti father fifteenth century French Gallery Gesta Romanorum Greek Harpagus Herodotus heroic honor human husband Ibid Italian Jordanes Josephus king lady later Latin Laurent Laurentian Library legend Livy Livy's version London Lucrece Lydgate Machiavelli Mandane manuscript Marcantonio Raimondi Massagetae medieval Middle Ages miniatures moral Orosius Ovid Ovid's pagan painter painting Panthea Paris Penelope Persian Petrarch Petrus plate Polyaenus Pompeius portrays queen Renaissance revenge Roman Rome royal Seneca Sextus Shakespeare sixteenth society sources story of Cyrus story of Lucretia suicide tapestry Tarquin tion Tomyris tradition tragic translation Valerius Maximus Vergil violation of Lucretia Vives wife woman women wrote Xenophon