Crete, the Forerunner of Greece


    MRS. HARRIET BOYD HAWES, better known to us, perhaps, under her maiden name of Miss Harriet Boyd, and her husband, Mr. C. H. Hawes, have written a. very useful little book which may be described as a short, popular description of the antiqui ties of Crete which have been discovered during the last ten years by Dr. Evans, Prof. Halbherr, and by the distinguished author herself. More popular than Prof. Burrows's admirable “Discoveries in Crete” (though, at the same time, in no way less useful to archaeologists), and published at half the price of even his book, “Crete, the Forerunner of Greece,” should bring the interest and the importance, of the Cretan discoveries home to the minds of all. Mr. and Mrs. Hawes have rightly insisted on the fact that the Cretan discoveries should in reality interest us more than similar discoveries in Assyria, or Pales tine, or even in Egypt, because the Cretan civili sation of the Bronze age was the forerunner and the ancestor of that Hellenic culture which is ours to day. In spite of the dark age of mediaevalism in Europe, the tradition of Grasco-Roman civilisation sur vived, and we have now returned to it. Greek culture was but a revival, after an analogous dark age of mediaevalism, of the great civilisation of the Ægean Bronze age, younger sister, probably, of the ancient culture of the Nile valley. Our civilisation goes back in Greece to the very beginning of things, almost to the remote epoch when it diverged from the Nilotic culture, and Mr. and Mrs. Hawes's little book is de signed to instruct those who wish to know the story of its origins. Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas. Religious ideas have largely directed the general interest in our origins towards the “Bible-lands,” whence sprang the exotic oriental religious element in our culture, but the growth of knowledge and of civilisation is steadily weaning us from our Semitic and mediaeval foster-parents, and interesting us more and more in Greece and Rome, the real parents of our minds and thoughts; and the origin of Greece and of Rome was Crete, and Crete may have sprung from the same common source as Egypt.

    Crete, the Forerunner of Greece.

    C. H. Hawes Harriet Boyd Hawes. With a preface by Arthur J. Evans. Harper's Library of Living Thought. Pp. xiv+158. (London: Harper Bros., 1909.) Price 2s. 6d. net.

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    Crete, the Forerunner of Greece . Nature 83, 422–423 (1910).

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