Old Calabria By Norman Douglas


And now, Sybarites and Basileans - alike in ruins!

A man of to-day, asked which of the two civilizations he - Page 170
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And Now, Sybarites And Basileans - Alike In Ruins!

A man of to-day, asked which of the two civilizations he would wish restored, would not hesitate long in deciding for the Hellenic one. Readers of Lenormant will call to mind his glowing pages on the wonders that might be found buried on the site of Sybaris.

His plan of excavation sounds feasible enough. But how remote it becomes, when one remembers the case of Herculaneum! Here, to our certain knowledge, many miracles of antique art and literature lie within a few feet of our reach; yet nothing is done. These hidden monuments, which are the heritage of all humanity, are withheld from our eyes by the dog-in-the-manger policy of a country which, even without foreign assistance, could easily accomplish the work, were it to employ thereon only half the sum now spent in feeding, clothing and supervising a horde of criminals, every one of whom ought to be hanged ten times over. Meanwhile other nations are forbidden to co-operate; the fair-minded German proposals were scornfully rejected; later on, those of Sir Charles Waldstein.

"What!" says the Giornale d' Italia, "are we to have international excavation-committees thrust upon us? Are we to be treated like the Turks?"

That, gentle sirs, is precisely the state of the case.

The object of such committees is to do for the good of mankind what a single nation is powerless or unwilling to do. Your behaviour at Herculaneum is identical with that of the Turks at Nineveh.

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