SCHOLAR ISLAND

Western World

 

"The Western world was the seat of freedom until another, more Western, was discovered; and that other will be probably its asylum when it is hunted down in every other part."

-Edmund Burke

                               

   "Year after year, illustrious scholars lived in Alexandria under the patronage of the Ptolemies, and though most of them had already gained their fame, either in Athens or Rome, they sought to be an integral part of Alexandria's rich culture. Free from want and from taxes, they studied, wrote, collated manuscripts, researched, lectured, and theorized in their respective disciplines. "This unique establishment," wrote the German historian Ferdinand Gregorovius, "diffused a splendor over the civilized world which lasted longer than any other university, whether of Paris, Bologna or Padua. Long after the creative power of Greek genius was exhausted, encyclopedic knowledge and Greek sophistry were to be found in the Mouseion of Alexandria.

   Ina much broader sense, this was a university, consisting of sleeping quarters, refectory, walks along cloisters or colonnaded shelters with seats for rest and contemplation, theaters for lectures on philosophy and science, readings of the classic poets and historians, botanical gardens and animal parks for the study of flora and fauna. But more importantly, it offered to its privileged fellows, and subsequently to all the scholars of the world, the resources of the first real, and the most comprehensive and innovative, collection of intellectual materials ever assembled in antiquity."

Theodore Vrettos

Alexandria: City of the Western Mind

 

"....I am become a name

For always roaming with an hungry heart,

Much have I seen and known....

I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch, where thro'

Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades

Forever and forever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end.

To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!

And this gray spirit yearning in desire 

To follow knowledge like a shining star

Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

....Come my friends,

'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the Western stars until I die

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.

Tennyson's Ulysses

 

"It was at a particular moment in the history of my own rages that I saw the Western world conditioned by the images of Marx, Darwin and Freud; and Marx, Darwin and Freud are the three most crashing bores of the Western world. The simplistic popularization of their ideas has thrust our world into a mental straitjacket from which we can only escape by the most anarchic violence."

William Golding

 

"Western man represents himself, on the political or psychological stage, in a spectacular world-theater. Our personality is innately cinematic, light-charged projections flickering on the screen of Western consciousness."

Camille Paglia

Art and American Culture

 

"Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence-those are the three pillars of Western prosperity."

Aldous Huxley

 

"To the ancient Egyptians, to go west was to die, for beyond the sunset lay the kingdom of the dead. The evening sun, Atum, entered that kingdom and moved through it beneath the earth, to be reborn as the morning sun, chepre, in the east. The two categories, death and rebirth, belong to different kinds of time. The death that brought all beings, including the sun, to the "beautiful west" led out of time as change into time as permanent result-jet-a space in which the deceased continued their life without change, in eternal duration."

David Gress

From Plato to Nato

 

"In estimating the position of Israel in the human values we must remember that the quest for righteousness is oriental, the quest for knowledge occidental. With the great prophets of the East-Moses, Isaiah, Mahomet-the word was "Thus saith the Lord"; with the great seers of the West, from Thales and Aristotle to Archimedes and Lucretius, it was "What says Nature?" They illustrate two opposite views of man and his destiny-in the one he is an "angelus sepultus" in a muddy vesture of decay; in the other, he is the "young light-hearted master" of the world, in it to know it, and by knowing to conquer."

William Osler

"Israel and Medicine" (1914)

 

Book: "Eric Voegglin: The Restoration of Order" by Michal P. Frederich

Book: " The World and the West" by Phillip D. Curtin

Book: "Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews" by James Carroll

Book: "The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason" by Charles Freeman

Book: "The City of Man" by Pierre Manent

Book: "From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present" by Jacques Barzun

Book: "The Passion of the Western Mind" by Richard Tarnas

Book: "The Way of Alexander The Great" by Charles Mercer

Book: "Alexander The Great" by Robin Lane Fox

Book: "The Life of Alexander the Great" by Plutarch

Book: "Envy of the Gods: Alexander The Great's Ill-Fated Journey Across Asia" by John Prevas

Book: "Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness" by Guy MacLean

Book: "Alexander The Great, Killer Of Men: History's Greatest Conqueror and the Macedonian Art Of War" by David J. Lonsdale 

Book: The Wisdom of Alexander The Great: Enduring Leadership Lessons From The Man Who Created An Empire" by Lance B. Kurke

Book: "Alexandria: Discoveries" by Jean-Yves Empereur

Book: "The Wisdom of the World: The Human Experience of the Universe in Western Thought" by Remi Brague

Book: "Starring Into Chaos: Explorations in the Decline of Western Civilization" by B.G. Brander

Book: "The Demoralization of Western Culture: Social Theory and the Dilemmas of Modern Living" by R.W. Fevre

Book: "The West and the Rest" by Roger Scruton

Book: "The Chronicle of Western Fashion: From Ancient Times to the Present Day" by John Peacock

Book: "The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason" by Charles Freeman

Book: "Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West" by John Ralston Saul

Book: "Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies" by Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit

Book: "The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community" by William H. McNeill

2001

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