T H E R E N O V A T IO N O F E G Y P T A N D R E N A S C E N C E O F G R E E C E
Archaism in Egypt and Babylonia-Youth of Greece and Persia-The sons of Yavan : piracy and trade-The Phoenicians in the Aegean-Corinth-The KabeiroiWithdrawal of the Phoenicians-Ionian sailors in the Euxine : the Odyssey-Tales of Odysseus transferred to the West-The Odyssey and Egypt-Dates of Ionian colonies — Causes of colonization : political changes in the Greek states-Rule of the Aristocrats-Increase of population and necessity for emigration-Magna Graecia and Sicily — Euxine — Libya — Cyrene — Egypt — Mt\rf<ri(ov Tetxos — Daphnai — NaukratisGrowth of feeling of Hellenic nationality in the trading factories-Influence of Delphi — The Sacred War-Trading and religious leagues: Amphiktionies-The Eretrian and Chalkidic alliance-systems-The Lelantine war (c. 700 B.c.)— The TyrantsSpartan and Argive k in gs: Pheidon-Revival of culture in Ionia-The alphabet and coinage-Proto-Corinthian and later Ceramic styles-The Lakonian style-Metalworking-Egyptian influence in sculpture-Assyrian influences-Architecture-The Egyptian renovation-Political arrangements-Prosperity-Ionia and Lydia-Greek indifference to events in Asia
I T might seem that we could use the same term “ Renascence” to designate the revivification of the Egyptian state under the rule of the Saites and the awakening to
new life of civilization in Greece. But the two phenomena were very different from each other. One was a merely artificial revivification of an old Egypt long passed away, the other was a natural re-florescence of civilization in a shape very different from the Aegean culture of ancient days. The effect of the Egyptian renovation was but to intensify and emphasize the old age of Egypt, who had but painted her withered cheeks with artificial roses of youth; the Greek renascence was a true re-birth, the new Greece, ignorant of her forebears, was born anew as a young child. The archaistic movement which aimed at reproducing the ancient Egypt of the days before the Empire1 had begun in
the time of Ethiopian domination. It set in, apparently, as a fashion of protest against the outworn and vulgarized culture and art of the Empire. The imperial tradition had not in the long run served Egypt, who had lost her empire and seen her own land overrun by conquerors. In the bitterness of subjection the Egyptians turned from the Empire towards the simple old days, as they seemed, of the Pyramid-Builders. Names and titles of that period reappeared, a kind of archaistic crusade sprang up, and eventually, when Psamatik I restored the rule of the Pharaohs over the whole land, the archaistic mode was officially adopted by the state. It was as if a degenerate and worn-out England of the future, tired of the imperial pomp, were to go back for her inspiration to the Anglo-Saxon period, were to imitate that period in every way, in art, in costume, and in manners, to replace the dignitaries of the present day by “ ealdormen,” “ jarls,” and “ thegns,” and substitute for the Imperial Parliament an English comic-opera “ Witenagemot.” 1 Such was the artifically rejuvenated state which Psamatik called into being on his attainment of complete independence of Assyria (650 B.C.). Babylonia also was seized at this time with the craze for archaism. The restored kingdom of Nabopolassar, of which we shall follow the fortunes in the next chapter, was marked, like the restored kingdom of Psamatik, by a revival of old days and old ways before the Assyrian imperialism had existed. And Nabonidus, the last king of the last Babylonian dynasty, was, as we shall see, a learned archaeologist, an enthusiastic collector of ancient divine images, and energetic preserver of the most ancient temples.