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Abstract

This realization and enunciation of physical, mathematical, and philosophic principles is the very essence of the classical form. The exactitude of philosophic reasoning and the precision of mathematics, both of which embody the nature of proportion, coupled with the divine gift (divine because indefinable) of the aesthetic experience constitute the Classical form of the Greek art and architecture of that supreme moment in the history of the Greek achievement, the fifth century B.C. Exactitude, precision, proportion, and aestheticism are key concepts, key words in the understanding of the principle of classicism.

That the classical form has prevailed throughout the long course of Western civilization testifies to its deep-rooted appeal not only visually and emotionally but also to its philosophic and mathematical truth, precision, and brilliance: those pristine Greek qualities that permeate the very substance and spirit of the classical form in all its manifestations. The Greek achievement — the classical achievement — was and is the achievement of Western man and remains the quintessential achievement of Western culture.

This article is based on a lecture delivered at the The Greeks Institute, a series of lectures presented to secondary school teachers in the Bridgeport Public Schools during the spring of 1989. Co-sponsored by the Connecticut Humanities Council, Sacred Heart University, and the Bridgeport Public Schools, the purpose of the institute has been to provide teachers with an interdisciplinary exploration of classical Greece for the purposes of professional enrichment and curriculum development.

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