is a slave or a free man, a merchant or a
scholar, his aim in life has nothing to do with his calling, so that a
wrong choice is not such a very great piece of unhappiness. Let this
serve as a crumb of comfort for philologists in general; but true
philologists stand in need of a better understanding: what will result
from a science which is "gone in for" by ninety-nine such people? The
thoroughly unfitted majority draw up the rules of the science in
accordance with their own capacities and inclinations; and in this way
they tyrannise over the hundredth, the only capable one among them. If
they have the training of others in their hands they will train them
consciously or unconsciously after their own image . what then becomes
of the classicism of the Greeks and Romans?
The points to be proved are--
(_a_) The disparity between philologists and the ancients.
(_b_) The inability of the philologist to train his pupils, even with
the help of the ancients.
(_c_) The falsifying of the science by the (incapacity of the) majority,
the wrong requirements held in view; the renunciation of the real aim of
All this affects the sources of our present philology: a sceptical and
melancholy attitude. But how otherwise are philologists to be produced?
The imitation of antiquity: is not this a principle which has been
refuted by this time?
The flight from actuality to the ancients: does not this tend to falsify
our conception of antiquity?
We are still behindhand in one type of contemplation: to understand how
the greatest productions of the intellect have a dreadful and evil
background . the sceptical type of contemplation. Greek antiquity is now
investigated as the most beautiful example of life.
As man assumes a sceptical and melancholy attitude towards his life's
calling, so we must sceptically examine the highest life's calling of a
nation: in order that we may understand what life is.
My words of consolation apply particularly to the single tyrannised
individual out of a hundred: such exceptional ones should simply treat
all the unenlightened majorities as their subordinates; and they should
in the same way take advantage of the prejudice, which is still
widespread, in favour of classical instruction--they need many helpers.
But they must have a clear perception of what their actual goal is.
Philology as the science of antiquity does not, of course, endure for
ever; its elements are not inexhaustible. What cannot be exhausted,
however, is the ever-new adaptation of one's age to antiquity; the
comparison of the two. If we make it our task to understand our own
As it was, however, he remained loyal to his cause, and this meant denouncing his former idol.Page 9
But, to repeat what I have already said, these abnormal symptoms are not in the least incompatible with Wagner's music, they are rather its very cause, the root from which it springs.Page 12
It builds, organises, completes: and in this sense it stands as a contrast to the polypus in music, to "endless melody.Page 26
" Wagner is _no_ dramatist; let nobody be deceived on this point.Page 30
--All these people, and I say it with gratitude, are the best, the most respectable among Wagner's admirers--they have a perfect right to honour Wagner.Page 32
The stage is a form of Demolatry in the realm of taste, the stage is an insurrection of the mob, a _plebiscite_ against good taste.Page 37
(--The gospels present us with the same physiological types, as do the novels of Dostoiewsky), the master-morality ("Roman," "pagan," "classical," "Renaissance"), on the other hand, being the symbolic speech of well-constitutedness, of _ascending_ life, and of the Will to Power as a vital principle.Page 41
--Wagner is one who has suffered much--and this elevates him above other musicians.Page 42
_ In the same way, I began by interpreting Wagner's music as the expression of a Dionysian powerfulness of soul.Page 46
_Amor fati:_ this is the very core of my being.Page 58
He lacks the German charm and grace of a Beethoven, a Mozart, a Weber; he also lacks the flowing, cheerful fire (_Allegro con brio_) of Beethoven and Weber.Page 83
Philologists are nothing but a guild of sky-pilots who are not known as such: this is why the State takes an interest in them.Page 92
] [Footnote 12: Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker (1784-1868), noted for his ultra-profound comments on Greek poetry.Page 93
_ 139 It is quite untrue to say that the Greeks only took _this_ life into their consideration--they suffered also from thoughts of death and Hell.Page 95
We have now had enough experience, however, to turn the history of antiquity to account without being shipwrecked on antiquity itself.Page 96
True, the influence of antiquity has been observed in Christianity even in our own time; and, as it diminishes, so will our knowledge of antiquity diminish also to an even greater extent.Page 97
In the end, all the forces of which antiquity consisted have reappeared in Christianity in the crudest possible form: it is nothing new, only quantitatively extraordinary.