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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

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The Grecian and Roman systems and ideas of physical development, said Dr. Sargent in a recent lecture, differed in that the former had three ends to attain - a perfect mind in point of education, a perfect working condition of the organs of the body, and especially a perfect body in the point of beauty and art - while the latter's sole object was to fit the body to endure the hardships of war. Thus among the Greeks we find the most perfectly and beautifully developed athletes. At the fall of Rome, and with the rise of Christianity, there was a change in the former ideas of physical training. Whereas the Greeks had thought the mind and body closely allied, and to work together, the followers of Christianity considered the mind as impeded and clogged by the body, which was supposed to be the source of all evil, and as such, worthy of no consideration.

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