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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
I. THE LANDS OF THE WEST AND THE RISE OF GREECE TO ABOUT 500 B.C.
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BONDS OF UNION AMONG THE GREEKS
LANGUAGE AS A UNIFYING FORCE
The Greek colonies, as we have seen, were free and independent. In Greece itself the little city-states were just as jealous of their liberties. Nevertheless ties existed, not of common government, but of common interests and ideals, which helped to unite the scattered sections of the Greek world. The strongest bond of union was, of course, the one Greek speech. Everywhere the people used the same beautiful and expressive language. It is not a "dead" language, for it still lives in modified form on the lips of nearly three million people in the Greek peninsula, throughout the Mediterranean, and even in remote America.
LITERATURE AS UNIFYING FORCE; HOMER
Greek literature, likewise, made for unity. The Iliad and the Odyssey were recited in every Greek village for centuries. They formed the principal textbook in the schools; an Athenian philosopher calls Homer the "educator of Hellas." It has been well said that these two epics were at once the Bible and the Shakespeare of the Greek people.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy