«Another reason for the Greeks’ unique vision may be that they lived at the crossroads of three continents, venturing from their land all over the Mediaterranean world to trade and establish colonies. This gave them, with the explorer’s boldness and the philosopher’s yearning for basic truths, the opportunity to examine the ideas of other civilizations and compare them to their own. Ultimately their experiences and instincts led to the creation of the Greek miracle that astonished the world. Such greatness of art, literature, philosophy, and government set a standard for the civilizations that came after. For nearly a century, on the austere plain of Attica, men reached a level of excellence that has remained an inspiration for mankind, the mind and spirit in equilibrium as never before or since.»
– From Nicholas Gage, Introduction to The Greek Miracle: Classical Sculpture from the Dawn of Democracy, the Fifth Century B.C.