Andersen, Hendrick Christian [Hrsg.]; Hébrard, Ernest M. [Hrsg.]
Creation of a world centre of communication — Paris, 1913

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inspired by personal pride, and naively symbolic, denoting much that
was beautiful, yet more that was cruel and horrible in the motives and
energy of man. These images resist the ravages of time and bring the
funereal processions of barbarism vividly to our minds. Kings arc repre-
sented in single combat with ferocious lions. They are often the central
figure in war scenes, boldly dashing into opposing armies or hunting fierce
beasts, while slaves carry arms. They are even immortalised in the act of
gouging the eyes of prisoners, as if desirous of being glorified by this bar-
barity. Such scenes as these are handed down to us on the sculptured
walls of palaces, — symbols of personal glorification, pride, vanity and cou-
rage, as well as of mental and physical degradation.

In Egyptian history, we read of the sacrifice of millions of slaves in
the construction of gigantic temples, magnificent tombs, pyramids, obelisks,
artificial lakes, mysterious underground corridors, with halls for the sacred
crocodiles. In these structures full of power and beauty, marvellous in
their majesty, overpowering in their energetic idealism, we discern the
strenuous efforts of men to create a worldly kingdom of monumental gran-
deur, — thus forming a human centralisation which in spite of its magnifi-
cence, yet lacks a true comprehension of the creative will and power and
is too small for humanity and too narrow for human progress. Along the
sleepy banks of the Nile, half buried in the long, silent desert, ruins of
gigantic proportions rise before one, painted by the setting sun with red
gold and violent orange and veiled by deep blue and violet shadows in the
silent hours of night. They prove to the traveller and to the historian that,
in spite of their overpowering magnificence, much was inspired by human
vanity, — yes, more than we can here recall. Yet, the fact that men have
the power to build magnificent temples and to overthrow mountains, fills
the soul with a strange pride and a secure faith that what is accomplished
in a righteous cause, nothing can destroy.

We pass on to the beautiful centralisation in Greece. It is there that
human life, it would seem for the first time, struggled to attain an ideal
perfection. The Greeks felt that life in itself was a symbol of divinity,
and its full and harmonious development, physical and mental, the highest
and most divine obligation and duty. In art, literature, philosophy, drama
and physical culture, they endeavoured to express all the richness and
variety that life can give. Temples of perfect proportions, architectural
conceptions of dream-like beauty rose in order to give ample scope to deve-
lopment and culture. Rich and poor contributed freely their talent, money
and labour to the expression of an ideally developed life. And in this
centralisation, the contribution of one was the gain of all, for worship was
expressed in action and in the creation of beauty. The Greeks laid the
foundation stones for uniting human endeavour with the intention of crea-
ting logical ideals, and did so upon lines so appealing to the aesthetic sense

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