FREEDOM : THE LEGACY OF GREECE

It is doubtful whether the interior of the temples was as fine as the exterior. It seems that here the Athenians had not yet freed themselves from the Egyptian love of size for its own sake. The statue of Athene, which Phidias made to go inside the Parthenon, must, by its dimensions, have destroyed all the proportions of the interior. Yet the Parthenon, as seen on its hill above Athens, rests complete and whole and perfect. Compare the Gothic glories of Lincoln Cathedral, where the soaring columns appear to stretch on and on and lose themselves in the illimitable spaces of the vaulting. Starting from Thales at the beginning of the sixth century, Greece had, in the years between, developed the most precious of human possessions, freedom of thought, and trusting steadily to the powers of reason, had opened up new worlds for the mind. This was the greatest period of mankind's history, when man threw off the age-long chains of servitude to priests in the spiritual life and to kings in political life, a free man who could " see life steadily and see it whole."