The Birth of the Past by Zachary Sayre Schiffman Foreword by Anthony Grafton will be a beautiful fascinating trip through the past for understanding the perception of past cultures regarding it.
Being the USA a new country people look forward and don't tend to cry too much for the past.Once an American correspondent said me that Americans tend to forget. People, facts, everything. It's a society that doesn't give importance to the past in general.
But...Is it past important for us and how the perception of the past has been lived from other cultures?
Greek people didn't disconnect past and present. According to my modest point of view they have lived for being remembered and for their immortality in art, more than any other culture.
Storytelling was extremely crucial (and still is) as remarked by the author and past was connected with present because it was told, shared. The same Homer maybe didn't exist. It's a discussion that it is still vivid. Maybe Iliad and Odyssey works born thanks to storytelling, created by soldiers, implemented by someone else who would have loved to see an epic tale told forever.
Storytelling where there is not culture of writing and reading is the best way for preserving, facts anecdotes, legends, and for remembering the past.
Renaissance saw the re-discovery of the past and the return of the past under many ways. The biggest inspirations of painters, sculptures were Greeks, Latins.
That cultures saw perfections in bodies, sculptures, paintings, and Renaissance tried to research for that beauty, for that perfection.
The research of that perfect past, that perfect bodies, meant also the re-discovery of immortality and a present made of beauty, harmony, perfection destined to be immortal exactly like the golden ages created by Greeks and Latins.
When the past is back for good for bringing new immortality during a certain historical period it's more than welcomed and appreciated.
Not only but during Humanism and Renaissance a painter wasn't just a painter, but a scientist, a chemist, an astronomer, an astrologer, a magician. You mustn't just search for Leonardo for discovering it. It was a common custom started with the Humanism.
Culture wasn't specialist as it is today, but embraced every possible field. Wonderful.
The latest part of book involves Enlightenment, a period in which God was buried for other ideals and another interesting chapter is dedicated at Christianity.
It's a stunning book this one by Schiffman because he will let us discover again the importance of past. Past has a history tells the author and discovering it, with a fascinating erudite trip to Europe will be wonderful for all of you!
I thank Johns Hopkins University for the physical copy of this beautiful book.
Anna Maria Polidori