This work attempts to investigate about one century of the history of the reception of Classical Culture in Germany. It does so mainly from the point of view of the gradual change of the image of Classical Antiquity. At first, the image of antiquity is characterized by the ideals of goodness, truth and beauty and is then gradually transformed - this took place against the background of the strange god, Dionysus - to express inhumanity. The writer has consciously referred to results and methodical approaches from the history, theoretical construction and reflection on methods of classical philology in order to be better able to outline the reception process of ancient subjects, motifs and authors in the period investigated here. In fact, the reciprocal or mirror-image connections between literature, philosophy and the science of antiquity can often be ascertained in an epoque in which the concept of "classical education" is the same as that of "education" tout court. The book has thus given a lot of space to the investigation of the educational conditions for all the authors (Goethe, Kleist, Heine, Nietzsche etc.). The modalities of acquiring a classical education presuppose the reception, more or less directly, of Classical Antiquity and dealing with antique subjects. With a view to that, the writer has constantly focussed on the developments in the history of education and the concept of "education" itself in the course of the 19th Century. In this context, "antiquity" means almost exclusively Greek Antiquity, of which, in the course of 19th Century, at first the "classical" period, then the "dark beginnings" and the archaic epoque play an exemplary role for Modern Times. In spite of the transformation of the image of antiquity and the discovery of an archaic and anti-classical Greece, this model function holds and is barely questioned, even in the case of authors such as Heine or Nietzsche, although it is differently accounted for than before, that is by inhumanity and barbarity. This exemplariness is not least because of the mythopoetic aptitude as an expression of the holistically conceived Greek philosophy of life. The myth has a communicative function, which can also be discovered again for Modern Times ("New Mythology") and is symbolized by the mythical figure of the god, Dionysus. This myth-renaissance would, however, be barely conceivable without the emergence and development of modern historical science which began to research formerly unnoticed or unknown areas of Classical Antiquity. The science deepens the awareness of the distance to the Ancient World, which German writers, on the other hand, attempt to bridge by means of the myth (c.f. F. Nietzsche). German reception of Classical Antiquity has been characterized in a clearly Utopian way from the very beginning and does not get lost in the paradigmatic exchange from "humane" to "inhumane" antiquity. The Greek past and the Greek myth serve to set the perspective on Modern times, as a counterfoil to the present. The mythologisation and the idealisation of Classical Antiquity develop, just like historicism, a complex series of crisis experiences which have been the force behind Modern Times. Above all there was the desire ("Sehnsucht") for holistic inclusive life experiences in the face of the radical change of traditional, political, religiously legitimated rules and regulations at the end of the 18th Century.
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