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Additional resources for Ancient Persia in Western history : Hellenism and the representation of the Achaemenid Empire
In parallel with these developments, major advances were taking place in other spheres, such as the natural sciences, anthropology and linguistics. This chapter is concerned with the manner in which these new ﬁelds had developed within the context of Hellenism. There are two general aspects to this. First, by examining anthropology and linguistics, this chapter intends to demonstrate the growing tendency of the period to link ‘race’ to ‘language’, and which considered the notion of the ‘Aryan race’ as a matter of scientiﬁc fact (section I).
Europe will conquer the world and spread its religion which is law, freedom and respect for mankind, the belief that there is something divine at the heart of humanity. 28 Here is a relevant and revealing extract: If the empire of Darius had, at the battle of Arbela, been able to ﬁll its ranks with Persians, that is to say with real Aryans; if the Romans of the late Empire had had a Senate and an army of the same stock as that which existed at the time of the Fabii, their dominion would never have come to an end.
Greek souls! 78 The supreme example of this fascination can best be seen in Faust Part II. Here, Helen – after whom Faust lusts unrequitedly – is represented, allegorically, as beautiful both in body and soul. This allows Goethe to convey, at a deeper level, his take on Hellenism. 81 Helen, in this guise, has become in Butler’s opinion ‘the symbol for something which never had a real existence in this life, and never can. ’82 From my perspective, what is also signiﬁcant is the fact that there is a symbiotic unity between Helen (a representative of the Greek world) and Faust (a representative of the Germanic world).