Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Avid Curiosity

Robert Byron (1905-1941), The Byzantine Achievement (1929; rpt. New York: Russell & Russell Inc, 1964), pp. 12-13:
Fundamentally, the salient and most permanent impulse of the race, is an avid curiosity. The zeal for knowledge, which inspired the first philosophers and the first scientists, differed in no way from that to which St Paul, in an age of new necessity, cast the bait of the Unknown God. To-day the "men of Athens" still greet one another with the words "τί νέον—what news?" and await an answer. In the country a regular formula of personal interrogation is the preliminary to all hospitality. There results from this insatiable attitude of enquiry, a universal, and to the Briton, extraordinary, respect for learning, for books as books, and for any aspect of cultural ability. From the highest to the lowest, even to the illiterate, this national trait has endured through the ages.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?