A Bridge to Ancient Greece
Ancient Greek culture found a supreme refuge inside the Byzantine Walls.
Byzantium saved the Ancient Greek letters and transmitted them to East and West, South and North, to any nation that was able to receive the treasure. As Runciman observes, “For eleven hundred years there had stood on the Bosporous a city where the intellect was admired and the learning and letters of the classical past were studied and preserved. Without the help of Byzantine commentators and scribes there is little that we would know today about the literature of ancient Greece.”
Beyond that, without knowledge of the Byzantine spirit, we can not understand Ancient Greece, since it was precisely the Greeks that decided to be baptised in Christianity, and then formed the Roman Empire to the Christian empire of “Byzantium”. It is contradictory, useless and utopian to try a ‘jump’ to the Greek antiquity, ignoring the very road that Greeks themselves chose to create and follow.