Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. Visit us online at www.1stWorldLibrary.ORG - - In the history of peoples, the veneration of national heroes has been one of the most powerful forces behind great deeds. National consciousness, rather than a matter of frontiers, racial strain or community of customs, is a feeling of attachment to one of those men who symbolize best the higher thoughts and aspirations of the country and most deeply impress the hearts of their fellow citizens. Despite efforts to write the history of peoples exclusively from the social point of view, history has been, and will continue to be, mainly a record of great names and great deeds of national heroes. The Greeks, for us and for themselves, are not so much the people who lived in the various city-states of Hellas, nor the people dominated and more or less influenced by the Romans and later the Mohammedan conquerors, nor even the present population in which the old pure Hellenic element is in a proportion much smaller than is generally thought. Greece is what she is, lives in the life of men and shapes the minds and souls of peoples, through her great heroes, through her various gods, which were nothing but divinized heroes. Greece is for us Apollo, as a symbol of whatever is filled with light, high, beautiful and noble; Heracles for what is strength, energy, organization, life as it should be lived by human beings
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