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The Burden Of The Past: By Way Of Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The Past can be a burden. It may be painful to look back. One need only look back, as modern man, on the threshold of a new century, and indeed of a new millennium, to see this all too well. The Past can also become a burden by hindering us in our movements, by limiting our freedom of action and even our freedom to think. Often enough, the burden of the Past was also felt by the Latin writers themselves. Frequently they wanted to break away from it and be free in their own movements and choices. The image of an organic development has long been an integral part of Western thinking. Nonetheless, it clashes internally with several other interpretations of history, in the first place with the likewise classical view of history as a progressive decay from an initial state of virtue and purity, a golden age.

Keywords: golden age; Latin writers; new century; Past; Western thinking



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