Civilization...is a matter of imponderables, of delight in the thins of the mind, of love of beauty, of honor, grace, courtesy, delicate feeling. Where imponderables, are things of first importance, there is the height of civilization, and, if at the same time, the power of art exists unimpaired, human life has reached a level seldom attained and very seldom surpassed.
When the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.
Mind and spirit together make up that which separates us from the rest of the animal world, that which enables a man to know the truth and that which enables him to die for the truth.
A people's literature is the great textbook for real knowledge of them. The writings of the day show the quality of the people as no historical reconstruction can.
The fundamental fact about the Greek was that he had to use his mind. The ancient priests had said, ''Thus far and no farther. We set the limits of thought.'' The Greek said, ''All things are to be examined and called into question. There are no limits set on thought.''
Theories that go counter to the facts of human nature are foredoomed.
None but a poet can write a tragedy. For tragedy is nothing less than pain transmuted into exaltation by the alchemy of poetry.
There are few efforts more conducive to humility than that of the translator trying to communicate an incommunicable beauty. Yet, unless we do try, something unique and never surpassed will cease to exist except in the libraries of a few inquisitive book lovers.