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By Guglielmo Ferrero

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Which flow through the valleys unite to form the mighty rivers in the plain? PART ANCIENT HISTORY II AND WORLD THE MODERN ANCIENT SOCIAL SYSTEMS AND CONTEMPORARY AMERICA A T ^* the end of the year 1906, while sojourning in Paris, where I France a course of had been giving at the College de lectures on Roman history, I re- ceived an invitation from Emilio Mitre, the son of the famous Argentine general, to undertake a long expediThis invitation evoked general tion to South America. surprise. What, my friends asked, of the ancient world, going to was I, the historian do in the newest of new worlds, in ultra-modern countries, in countries without a past and caring only for the future, where industry and agriculture fill the place which for the ancients was occupied by war?

In fact, in the course of my travels and obser- vations in America, after having devoted ten years to the study of a large section of ancient history, I have realised how much the ancient history, which studied in Europe, helped me I had to understand America; Ancient and Modern Social Systems and how much the America which helped me I had before 37 my eyes to a better understanding of the distant reality of that vanished And world of long ago. and follow the track of these studies reflections, I if we think be able to attribute also a more precise " meaning to that epithet of 'young, which is constantly applied to America.

Ancient and Modern Social Systems my Naturally, me to fix earliest studies in Roman history led attention on this bountiful munificence on my the part of private persons in the ancient world, which the 29 by spontaneously or at the call of took upon themselves a share of the public opinion, But I had not fully grasped the meanpublic burdens. rich, either ing of this system, until I visited America, colleges, schools, the and saw the and hospitals founded and subsidised, universities endowed, and all the museums and other public institutions aided with millions of dollars by the rich business men and bankers of America.

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Ancient Rome and Modern America by Guglielmo Ferrero


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