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Norman F. Cantor

“National historical myths are a way of giving identity and more authenticity to a people. Exodus flattered the Jews half a millennium after it allegedly took place by making them feel like heroic refugees from slavery, and righteous conquerors of a land corrupted by paganism, wealth, and sex. The Illiad made the politicians, merchants, sailors, farmers, and schoolteachers of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. into the heirs of austere, remorseless, honorable, courageous warriors, a race of demigods. Contrast this with the real Athenians of ca. 375 B.C. -- their bellies full of fishcakes, their throats bloated with cheap resined wine, their far-flung sharp commercial deals a laughable, reverse mirror-image of the noble warriors of the Trojan War era.”


Norman F. Cantor, Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World
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Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World by Norman F. Cantor
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