Of all sciences philology at present is the most favoured . its progress
having been furthered for centuries by the greatest number of scholars
in every nation who have had charge of the noblest pupils. Philology has
thus had one of the best of all opportunities to be propagated from
generation to generation, and to make itself respected. How has it
acquired this power?
Calculations of the different prejudices in its favour.
How then if these were to be frankly recognised as prejudices? Would not
philology be superfluous if we reckoned up the interests of a position
in life or the earning of a livelihood? What if the truth were told
about antiquity, and its qualifications for training people to live in
In order that the questions set forth above may be answered let us
consider the training of the philologist, his genesis: he no longer
comes into being where these interests are lacking.
If the world in general came to know what an unseasonable thing for us
antiquity really is, philologists would no longer be called in as the
educators of our youth.
Effect of antiquity on the non-philologist likewise nothing. If they
showed themselves to be imperative and contradictory, oh, with what
hatred would they be pursued! But they always humble themselves.
Philology now derives its power only from the union between the
philologists who will not, or cannot, understand antiquity and public
opinion, which is misled by prejudices in regard to it.
The real Greeks, and their "watering down" through the philologists.
The future commanding philologist sceptical in regard to our entire
culture, and therefore also the destroyer of philology as a profession.
THE PREFERENCE FOR ANTIQUITY
- -- Friedrich Nietzsche