What did Friedrich Nietzsche think of contemporary Greece? Did he ever visit the country?

Friedrich Nietzsche was known for his complex views on ancient Greek philosophy, but he had little interest in contemporary Greece. In fact, he once referred to Greece as a "nation of slackers" in a private letter to his close friend Paul Rée. Nietzsche believed that modern Greece had lost touch with its glorious past, and that the country had become too complacent in its current state.

It is highly unlikely that Nietzsche ever visited Greece. He was known to be a recluse in his later years, and was plagued by health problems that prevented him from traveling extensively. However, he did draw inspiration from ancient Greek culture and philosophy, and his works are filled with references to figures such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

In his book "Thus Spoke Zarathustra," Nietzsche famously wrote, "I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers, and arrows of longing for the other shore." This sentiment reflects his admiration for the ancient Greek thinkers who rejected traditional religious and moral values in favor of individual freedom and self-determination.

Overall, Nietzsche's views on contemporary Greece were not favorable, but his appreciation for the country's ancient culture and philosophy is evident in his works. His fascination with the ideals of ancient Greece is a recurring theme throughout his philosophy, and continues to inspire scholars and thinkers to this day.


  • Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Trans. Walter Kaufmann. New York: Penguin, 1966.
  • Rée, Paul. "Letters from Friedrich Nietzsche to Paul Rée." In Nietzsche, Friedrich. Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche. Trans. Christopher Middleton. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1996.
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