Werner Jaeger, Paedeia: The Ideals of Greek Culture.

Translated by Gilbert Highet. Three Volumes. 2nd edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 1945.

Werner’s book is helpful as an especially detailed glimpse into one particular traditional culture. He treats philosophy, the role of poetry and tragedy, social roles, community, and education and culture in a society where the formation of personality was wholly communal. The work would be especially helpful for teaching Ancient History or exploring the historical role of poetry and music in formation, especially pre-rational formation of the desires (II. 228-229). Werner credits Socrates with developing the idea of the unity of human life where “human existence [is] regarded not as the mere lapse of time but as a clear and comprehensible unity, a deliberately shaped life-pattern” (II, 46). This was articulated in Greek education so that “the real essence of education [was] that it enables men to reach the true aim of their lives” (II., 69).

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