We Philologists Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Volume 8

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 15

our insight into antiquity. First of all, the
culture of antiquity is utilised as an incitement towards the acceptance
of Christianity . it became, as it were, the premium for conversion, the
gilt with which the poisonous pill was coated before being swallowed.
Secondly, the help of ancient culture was found to be necessary as a
weapon for the intellectual protection of Christianity. Even the
Reformation could not dispense with classical studies for this purpose.

The Renaissance, on the other hand, now begins, with a clearer sense of
classical studies, which, however, are likewise looked upon from an
anti-Christian standpoint: the Renaissance shows an awakening of honesty
in the south, like the Reformation in the north. They could not but
clash; for a sincere leaning towards antiquity renders one unchristian.

On the whole, however, the Church succeeded in turning classical studies
into a harmless direction . the philologist was invented, representing a
type of learned man who was at the same time a priest or something
similar. Even in the period of the Reformation people succeeded in
emasculating scholarship. It is on this account that Friedrich August
Wolf is noteworthy he freed his profession from the bonds of theology.
This action of his, however, was not fully understood; for an
aggressive, active element, such as was manifested by the
poet-philologists of the Renaissance, was not developed. The freedom
obtained benefited science, but not man.


It is true that both humanism and rationalism have brought antiquity
into the field as an ally; and it is therefore quite comprehensible that
the opponents of humanism should direct their attacks against antiquity
also. Antiquity, however, has been misunderstood and falsified by
humanism . it must rather be considered as a testimony against humanism,
against the benign nature of man, &c. The opponents of humanism are
wrong to combat antiquity as well; for in antiquity they have a strong


It is so difficult to understand the ancients. We must wait patiently
until the spirit moves us. The human element which antiquity shows us
must not be confused with humanitarianism. This contrast must be
strongly emphasised: philology suffers by endeavouring to substitute the
humanitarian, young men are brought forward as students of philology in
order that they may thereby become humanitarians. A good deal of
history, in my opinion, is quite sufficient for that purpose. The brutal
and self-conscious man will be humbled when he sees things and values
changing to such an extent.

The human element among the Greeks lies within a certain _naivete_,
through which man himself is to be seen--state, art, society, military
and civil law, sexual relations, education, party. It is precisely

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Case of Wagner Complete Works, Volume 8

Page 2
Now Nietzsche was one of the first to recognise that the principles of art are inextricably bound up with the laws of life, that an æsthetic dogma may therefore promote or depress all vital force, and that a picture, a symphony, a poem or a statue, is just as capable of being pessimistic, anarchic, Christian or revolutionary, as a philosophy or a science is.
Page 7
" Wagner, allow me to add, was a typical representative of the nineteenth century, which was the century of contradictory values, of opposed instincts, and of every kind of inner disharmony.
Page 12
"All that is good is easy, everything divine runs with light feet": this is the first principle of my æsthetics.
Page 16
_ --As to what Goethe would have thought of Wagner?--Goethe once set himself the question, "what danger hangs over all romanticists: the fate of romanticists?" His answer was: "To choke over the rumination of moral and religious absurdities.
Page 21
But no one must doubt that it is _we_ who save him, that in _our_ music alone salvation is to be found.
Page 27
Thereupon he immediately dismisses the old lady: "Why on earth did you come? Off with you! Kindly go to sleep again!" In short, a scene full of mythological awe, before which the Wagnerite _wonders_ all kinds of things.
Page 37
The age either has the virtues of _ascending_ life, in which case it resists the virtues of degeneration with all its deepest instincts.
Page 38
Page 41
Page 42
Page 46
Page 50
Page 55
Page 69
Overstraining of the memory--very common among philologists, together with a poor development of the judgment.
Page 71
THE PREFERENCE FOR ANTIQUITY 27 If a man approves of the investigation of the past he will also approve and even praise the fact--and will above all easily understand it--that there are scholars who are exclusively occupied with the investigation of Greek and Roman antiquity: but that these scholars are at the same time the teachers of the children of the nobility and gentry is not equally easy of comprehension--here lies a problem.
Page 74
Philologists now feel that when these prejudices are at last refuted, and antiquity depicted in its true colours, the favourable prejudices towards them will diminish considerably.
Page 75
[3] [Footnote 3: Formal education is that which tends to develop the critical and logical faculties, as opposed to material education, which is intended to deal with the acquisition of knowledge and its valuation, _e.
Page 85
"--If I saw, for example, that they were training their pupils against German philosophy and German music, I should either set about combating them or combating the culture of antiquity, perhaps the former, by showing that these philologists had not understood the culture of antiquity.
Page 94
His mysticism and syncretism were things that precisely Christianity cannot reproach him with.
Page 102