Philology to Heal the Soul

J.E. Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship, Vol. 3:

“In 1822 he [Barthold Georg Niebuhr] addressed, to a young friend, a memorable letter, in which he sets forth a high ideal of a scholar’s life. The authors specially recommended for study are Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Pindar, with Herodotus, Thucydides, Demosthenes and Plutarch, and Cicero, Livy, Caesar, Sallust and Tacitus. All these were to be read with reverence, not with a view to making them the themes of aesthetic criticism, but with a resolve to assimilate their spirit. This (he declares) is the true ‘Philology’ that brings health to the soul, while learned investigations (in the case of such as attain to them) belong to a lower level.”

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