Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions by A. L. Kroeber, C. Kluckhohn

By A. L. Kroeber, C. Kluckhohn

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Additional resources for Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions (Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Eth)

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Too bad we cannot breathe as if events, in their totality. were suspended! Each time they evidence themselves a little too much, we suffer a fit of de­ terminism, of fatalistic rage. By free will we explain only the surface of history. the appearances it assumes, its external vicissitudes, but not its depths, its real course, which pre­ serves, in spite of everything, a baffling, even a mysterious character. We are still amazed that Hannibal, after Cannae, did not fall upon Rome. Had he done so, we should be boast­ ing today of our Carthaginian ancestry.

When the Romans-or what remained of them-sought repose, the Barbarians got under way, en masse. We read in a history of the invasions that the German tribes serving in the Empire's army and adminis­ tration assumed Latin names until the middle of the fifth century. After which, Germanic names became a require­ ment. Exhausted, in retreat on every front, the masters were no longer feared, no longer respected. What was the use of bearing their names? ''A fatal somnolence reigned every­ where:· observed Salvian, bitterest censor of the ancient deliquescence in its final stages.

Cyril Connolly According to a Gnostic legend, a war b roke out in heaven among the angels, in which Michael's legions defeated those o f the Dragon. The nonpartisan angels who had been con­ tent to look on were consigned to earth, in order to make there a choice they had not been able to determine on high, one all the more arduous in that they brought with them no memory of the combat or, indeed, of their equivocal attitude. Thus history's commencement can b e traced to a qualm, and man resulted from an original ...

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