Posted BY: Jeffrey Folks

Michael Grant, the well-known interpreter of classical Greece and Rome, begins his classic book The Ancient Mediterranean by stating that “we cannot understand our past, and cannot, therefore, understand ourselves unless we know something of the Mediterranean sea and coasts that made us what we are.”

University studies, now dominated by the destructive teachings of woke thinking and critical theory, would not just reject Grant’s thinking but would ridicule and condemn anyone who holds such views.  A key goal of critical thinking is that the past is “the record of man’s injustice to man,” to paraphrase the poet Shelley, and so must be erased from memory.

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Certainly, there were plenty of crimes committed by the ancient Greeks and Romans, as there were by Europeans and Americans in later times.  But these crimes were less severe than what was taking place in other civilizations.  No one would argue, for instance, that the ancient Persians were more humane than the citizens of Athens, despite the large population of slaves living in the Greek city at the time.  In the same era, China entered a condition of constant warfare known as the “Warring States Period,” with all the bloodshed and suffering that the phrase implies.  Other areas of the world were governed by brutal monarchs who practiced slavery, genocide, and human sacrifice.  By comparison, our cultural ancestors, the Greeks and Romans, were significantly more humane and democratic.

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