The work exhibiting this fantastic emulation of extravagance with genius was dedicated to James I.
" Before Evagoras established his rule, they were so hostile and exclusive, that those of their rulers were actually held to be the best who were the fiercest adversaries of the Greeks; but now such a change has taken place, that it is a matter of emulation who shall show himself the most ardent phil-hellen, that for the mothers of their children most of them choose wives from amongst us, and that they take pride in having Greek things about rather than native, in following the Greek fashion of life, whilst our masters of the fine arts and other branches of culture now resort to them in greater numbers than were once to be found in those quarters they specially frequented " (Isoc. '99= Evag.
This process of emulation, very appropriately called by the late Sir H.
The author, writing from the landowner's point of view, ascribes the rise in rents and the rise in the price of corn' to the " emulation " of tenants in competing for holdings, a practice implying that the agriculture of the period was prosperous.
That rediscovery of the classic past restored the confidence in their own faculties to men striving after spiritual freedom; revealed the continuity of history and the identity of human nature in spite of diverse creeds and different customs; held up for emulation masterworks of literature, philosophy and art; provoked inquiry; encouraged criticism; shattered the narrow mental barriers imposed by medieval orthodoxy.