• “No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee”• John Donne– Meditation XVII
Isocrates wrote of Greek culture that:• "And so far has our city distanced the rest of mankind in thought and in speech that her pupils have become the teachers of the rest of the world; and she has brought it about that the name Hellenes suggests no longer a race but an intelligence, and that the title of Hellenes is applied rather to those who share our culture than to those who share our common blood."Later, the Latin poet Horace would remark that:• "Greece, when captured, captured her savage conqueror and brought the arts into rustic Latium."
Rome• Roman culture was marked by its practicality, and the greatest Roman contribution to Western Culture has been Roman law. Blackstones Law Dictionary, which had wide influence, encapsulated many principles of Roman law.• Cicero had a major influence, not only in his country, but throughout medieval times, St. Augustine, and even affected the framers of the U.S. Constitution.
Christianity• The third and last formative influence on Western Culture is Christianity. Jesus was among the most influential persons in human history. His preaching of the Golden Rule, of salvation, redemption and immortality not only affected the lives of people but also their art, literature, philosophy, and architecture. With the preaching of Christianity came the already existing concept of monotheism. The Bible became a central piece of Western literature affecting all fields within Western culture; law, philosophy, education, and politics.• With Christianity came a movement called monasticism (monks and nuns). Monasticism carried Christianity and science to all the countries of Europe and preserved Latin and Christian texts during the Dark Ages.• In order to educate its clergy, the Roman Catholic Church founded many seminaries throughout Europe. These, in turn, grew into todays universities and colleges.• St. Augustine is premier, along with Plato, in forming the mindset of Latin Christianity.