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Posts Tagged ‘Will Durant’

The bitter lesson that may be drawn from this tragedy is that eternal vigilance is the price of civilization.  A nation must love peace, but keep its powder dry.
  —  Will Durant
From his book:  “The History of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage
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On This Day In:
2018 Start By Trying
Day 4: Difficult Day
2017 Outlasting Division
2016 Said The Man Who Trained To Fight For A Living
2015 Tripping On Treasure
2014 The Flower Of Light
2013 Eye Catching
2012 The Holstee Manifesto
2011 Three Crooners For The Shower
The Soldier’s Faith
Vacation, Books And Lots Of Movies

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We have tried to show that the essential cause of the Roman conquest of Greece was the disintegration of Greek civilization from within.  No great nation is ever conquered until it has destroyed itself.
  — Will Durant
From his book:  “The History of Civilization: The Life of Greece
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On This Day In:
2017 Or Vote Against You
2016 Cupid Must Say It Too
2015 Some Of This And A Pinch Of That
2014 Consensus Is Only One Side
2013 Not Ought
2012 If You Want To, If You Have Something To Offer
2011 I See Lots Of Fools
2010 Orange Inside!!
And The Band Played On…
Happy New Year!!

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A history of civilization shares the presumptuousness of every philosophical enterprise: it offers the ridiculous spectacle of a fragment expounding the whole.  Like philosophy, such a venture has no rational excuse, and is at best but a brave stupidity; but let us hope that, like philosophy, it will always lure some rash spirits into its fatal depths.
   —  Will Durant
From the Preface to the first volume to his series: “The Story Of Civilization: I – Our Oriental Heritage
I want to know what were the steps by which men passed from barbarism to civilization.
   —  Voltaire
[Several years ago, I purchased the book series “The Story Of Civilization” by Will (and Ariel) Durant.  I first heard about the series perhaps forty years ago, when I was first thinking (and hoping) to “become” educated and cultured by reading great books and listening to classical music.  I found the books on sale at a used book store and picked them up as a promise to myself.  Since then, they’ve been sitting on my shelf calling to me…  Recently, I pulled down the first volume and started glancing through it.  Okay, I actually started to read it.
There are twelve volumes in the series and with one exception each is at least 1,000 pages.  When I looked the series up on line, one reviewer said any serious reader should expect to spend five years of his life reading these in their entirety, because anything less would fail to give them the consideration and justice they deserved.  Talk about your intimidating review!!
I doubt if I’ll finish them in five years.  I doubt if I’ll be able to find the time to give them the consideration they probably deserve.  But if I start now, who can say…
Fortunately, I do not feel foolish enough to set a goal of understanding all of human history or even to remember most of the 12,000+ pages related in this series.  I only hope to understand a little better how I got here (in this time and place) and what my minor role is in this great river of history.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 To Be Greatly Good
2013 Limited Capacity
2012 Two Ear Ticklers
Justification
2011 To Avail The Nation

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But it took more than a revival of antiquity to make the Renaissance.  And first of all it took money — smelly bourgeois money: … of careful calculations, investments and loans, of interest and dividends accumulated until surplus could be spared from the pleasures of the flesh, from the purchase of senates, signories, and mistresses, to pay a Michelangelo or a Titian to transmute wealth into beauty, and perfume a fortune with the breath of art.  Money is the root of all civilization.
    —  Will Durant
From his book: “The History of Civilization:  The Renaissance
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On This Day In:
2014 Hard Evidence
2013 Full Participation
2012 Roving (Again)
Ooops, Again
2011 Why Not?

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The new generation, having inherited world mastery, had no time or inclination to defend it; that readiness for war which had characterized the Roman landowner disappeared now that ownership was concentrated in a few families and a proletariat without stake in the country filled the slums of Rome.
    —  Will Durant
From his book: “The History of Civilization:  Caesar and Christ
[A cautionary note to the 1%…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Always More Productive
2013 Is Not
2012 Loosely Translated
2011 Your Opinions Are Not My Facts

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[On China in 1935…]  No victory of arms, or tyranny of alien finance, can long suppress a nation so rich in resources and vitality.  The invader will lose funds or patience before the loins of China will lose virility; within a century China will have absorbed and civilized her conquerors, and will have learned all the technique of what transiently bears the name of modern industry; roads and communications will give her unity, economy and thrift will give her funds, and a strong government will give her order and peace.
    —   Will Durant
From his book: “The History of Civilization:  Our Oriental Heritage
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On This Day In:
2014 Relax And Lead
2013 Location, Location, Location
2012 Are You Really Good?
2011 Relatively Objective, Anyway

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If Rome had not engulfed so many men of alien blood in so brief a time, if she had passed all these newcomers through her schools instead of her slums, if she had treated them as men with a hundred potential excellences, if she had occasionally closed her gates to let assimilation catch up with infiltration, she might have gained new racial and literary vitality from the infusion, and might have remained a Roman Rome, the voice and citadel of the West.
    —  Will Durant
From his book: “The History of Civilization:  Caesar and Christ
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On This Day In:
2014 Hmmm
2013 What’s A Motto With You?
2012 Worthy Companions
2011 Bourne Again
Which Ten Are You In?

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