Richard Wagner on the Difference Between Greek and Roman Art

Richard Wagner on the Difference Between Greek and Roman Art

Richard Wagner has a fantastic essay called “Art and Revolution” (1849). The very idea is ahead of its time, for we now understand that modern art (as well as postmodern) were used to undermine the foundations of Western civilization. For the essay however, Wagner writes about the artwork of two great civilizations: Greek and Roman. He champions the Greek approach to art, while ridiculing the Roman expression.

He begins by praising the drama of ancient Greece:

“The deeds of gods and men, their sufferings, their delights…here they became actual and true. For all that in them moved and lived, as it moved and lived in the beholders, here found its perfected expressionsuch was the Grecian people in its highest truth and beauty.”

Well put. The complexity of Grecian drama is readily apparent. While other cultures were throwing mud at one another, the Greeks were performing elaborate plays: music, costumes, and brilliant prose! It’s little wonder that they are held in such high esteem.

The brilliance of the Greek theater is held in high regard…and rightfully so!

He then mocks the debased entertainment of ancient Rome; in particular, the bloodthirsty events of the Colosseum:

“…they opened not to the gods and heroes of the ancient myths, nor to the free dancers and singers of the sacred choirs! No! Wild beasts, lions, panthers and elephants, must tear themselves to pieces in their amphitheatres, to glut the Roman eye; and gladiators, slaves trained up to the due pitch of strength and agility, must satiate the Roman ear with the hoarse gulp of death.”

Good points.

Truth be told, this is not art. 

Wagner is forcing me rethink my opinions on history.  Truth be told, I’ve always had a preference for Roman culture over Greek. I love the stoic philosophies, the sordid plays, and the iconic architecture. Perhaps I’ve been influenced (in a subtle or direct way) by the historical fictions of Hollywood.

r and g
The Major has always had a preference for Roman culture…but Wagner is making me rethink my position.

Wagner makes a valid argument; Greek drama was on a superior level and it should never be compared to a degenerate display of entertainment. Remember that art is a high expression of humanity; the display of a great mind and spirit. We should always revere its power…to hold it in high regard! For art is what separates the Prince from a plebeian and the great civilization from a forgotten one.

Once a culture begins to celebrate degenerate art, it soon becomes degenerate as well.

See Related Article:  The Soft Genocide


To an Active Mind, Indolence is More Painful Than Labor

To an Active Mind, Indolence is More Painful Than Labor

These words were uttered by Edward Gibbon, after he finished his six-volume epic: History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. (a book that was considered by many to be the pre-eminent collection on Roman history). Gibbon was exhausted, ready to retire to the English countryside. And yet, he realized what all GREAT MEN realize.

“To an active mind, indolence is more painful than labor”

The GREAT MAN is always on the move, always in the act of becoming. He must BE...he must DO. He runs to a destiny every day. He climbs the Mountain of Potential. He swims in the Ocean of Possibility.

The GREAT MAN can never relax. For a day or two…perhaps. But then the voices begin…calling him into the Battlefield of Tomorrow.

See Related Article: The Man That You Become is More Important Than the Boy That You Were

Book Review: Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun

Book Review: Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun

Wess Roberts wrote a book in 1993 entitled Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun. It became a best seller, mixing ancient history with business acumen. It was read by CEOs across the United States. One fan was Pat Riley, the former coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. On some level, the book is like President Trump’s Art of the Deal—designed to teach people how to succeed in the business sector.

The book is structured in the following way:

  • Provide an anecdote about Attila the Hun’s invasion of the Roman Empire
  • Use the anecdote as a teaching lesson, told from the perspective of Attila. The advice is centered on how to lead people, how to run an organization, etc.

Here are the pros and cons of the book:


There were a lot of great sayings. You can easily use the maxims in a variety of ways, from personal growth to attention whoring on Facebook. Here are just a few of the quotes:

“Warriors with high potential turn down assignments that don’t offer an opportunity for them to learn and grow.”

“A warrior with high potential is quick to leave a poorly led tribe.”

“A chieftain doesn’t waste time by trying to learn more lessons from an experience than it contains.”


Roberts was very enamored with Attila; he describes him in positive terms throughout the entire book.  But he conveniently overlooks the other side of Attila; for example, the man who skinned people alive, disemboweled them, and had their bodies torn to pieces by attaching each limb to a horse.

Simultaneously, he describes the Roman Empire in harsh ways; they were savage, brutal, prone to excess, etc. While that was true, there was another side to the Roman Empire—one that allowed them to rule the ancient world.

In short, I found him playing a bit loose with history. And I’m skeptical of people who manipulate the events of history to serve a personal aim.


Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun is a book that, on some level, has influenced the current migrant invasion of the West. A PHD academic like Wess Roberts, who condemns his own culture while simultaneously sanctifying the foreign invaders. The Roman Empire might as well be America/Europe while the Huns are Syrians, Somalians, etc. It’s very disturbing to see the seeds of our current dilemma. But for anyone that’s familiar with American academics, it should come as no surprise.

I recommend the book on the strength of the quotations. Just be aware that, ultimately, Roberts is a useful idiot that’s being dangled on the puppet strings of George Soros.