Professor Dr. Friedrich Maier © mm
The well-known classical philologist and professor Friedrich Maier (87) from Puchheim has written a new book. In his most recent work "Rapacity. The Dark Side of the Force", he deals with the causes of the Ukraine war.
Puchheim – In doing so, he looks very far back into history, to epoch-influencing figures from Great King Xerxes to Putin. In an interview with the Tagblatt, he explains why this work is particularly important to him.
How did the book idea come about?
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, of course, has challenged my scientific conscience. The historical parallels that present themselves in the course of world history were too clear.
What patterns did you recognize?
Even in mythology and philosophy, the deviant morality and tactics are shown in an almost exemplary manner: in the fable of the wolf and the sheep or in the famous Melier dialogue, in which everything is presented about the power of the strongest, who claims a natural right to rule over the weaker, to subjugate him and ultimately to destroy him. This can be proven on a case-by-case basis and, through mutual comparison, valid findings can be obtained that allow conclusions to be drawn about the present and possibly also about the future.
Can you explain this in more detail?
The first essay I wrote was about the fable "The Wolf and the Lamb". It explains how people destroy innocent people for reasons based on lies. I have published the article in several professional journals. The reactions to it encouraged me to work out the great history from Xerxes to Putin step by step.
How long did it take to finish the book, which is about 190 pages long?
I've been writing it for more than a year. It is an immense task to bring the history of two and a half millennia into line under one theme. Due to my university studies, I am not only a classical philologist, but also studied history, German and philosophy with a degree. I have a lot of knowledge in my head. Nevertheless, I had to acquire and work through the latest publications on Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler and, last but not least, Putin (and Stalin). That took a lot of time.
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Do you have any chapters that you find particularly impressive?
Several. For example, Caesar's conquest of Gaul, especially the attack on the Usipites and Tenkterians, Germanic barbarians, or the way the English colonial rulers dealt with the Indians, Churchill's hatred of Mahatma Gandhi or the "inferno of war" with Hitler's end as well as "Putin - a creature of the Stalin era".
Has anyone ever approached history in this way?
By the way: Everything from the region is now also available in our regular FFB Newsletter.)
As far as I know, there is nowhere else to find such an overarching view of history under a topic. In this respect, my book is a prototype. My core concern here is to open up the view of our fellow citizens to such great connections in world history and world politics in our time, in which there is evidence of a loss of historical consciousness.
How could this be better communicated?
Especially at the grammar schools, there is a need for a much stronger confrontation with the past. History is a part of culture. And this is the only possible counter-world – the counterpoint – to the icy cold rooms of metal AI machines and robots controlled by algorithms and neural networks.
The book was published in February by Ovid and costs ten euros.
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