chapter  VIII
THE TRIUMPH OF AUTARCY
Pages 26

T oUNDERSTANDHOWthedoctrineof'autarcy'-'self-sufficiency'or'independence'-cametogriptheGreek worldwehavetoglanceforamomentatthephysicalen-

vironmentwhichtheGreeksenjoyed.Toreducemoralstogeographyisabsurd.Toignoretheeffectofclimateuponcharacter andthoughtisequallyabsurd,andthereissomethingintheairof Greecewhichmakesforsharpoutline,somethingpreciseand cutting.ConsiderthedifferencebetweenaGreektempleanda Gothiccathedral.AGothiccathedralhasgrownacrossthecenturies.Itmayhavechangeditsstyleofbuildinginthemiddle,not oncebuttwoorthreetimes.Additionsandextensionsmayhave beenbroughttoit.Yetinitsownatmosphereitremainsadynamicunity.TheunityofaGreektempleisquitedifferent.Itis single,wholeandcomplete,andanychangeofstyleorlater extensionisunthinkablewithouttheeffectbeingspoiled.The Greektempleisautarkes.Similarly,theGreekswerethefirst peopletomakestatueswhichwerecompleteinthemselves, designedtobeseenfromallsides,andnotpartsofanarchitecturalcomplex.AGreektragedyiscompleteinitself,andAristotle saysso.Anyonewhotriestoremoveascene,letussaythe Hecuba-HelendebateinTheTrojanWomen,whichisnotvery successfulinitself,willsoonfmdthathehasspoiledthebalance ofthewhole.Theepigram,that'dwarfishwhole',isinsomeways themosttypicalproductofGreekart.