"Romanians… The peasantry is perfectly sound, perfectly conservative, like all ancient races… The idea that this people and country belong in the Latin culture is pure swindle. The Romance language alone does not mean a thing. It is the spirit that matters, and it is not Latin in any regard. Culturally speaking, it appears to be Greek-Byzantine. […] If today, among all the non-French, Romanians possess the greatest 'esprit', in the French sense, it is because the spirit of Paris is not to be found in Rome, but in Athens, and later in Constantinople… This Byzantinism is dubbed by Romanians themselves 'Latinity'… The best Romanian witticism is Byzantine. There is still an art of the epigram in Romania that has never flourished anywhere in the world since antiquity. Lyrical poetry is important to this country as in no other modern country. Out of three notable Romanians, one must be a remarkable poet… No doubt, this is Romanian specificity.Thraco-Scythian tradition is alive: the art of carpet making reminds of it more than anything. Romania's mission would be the revival of the spirit on Slavic ground… The princes of the church in Romania are living paradoxes, for they only have the exterior: they lack a solemn, severe spirit, and look like 18th-century abbots. Nevertheless, the Romanian church is alive, and through it a spiritual renaissance of Byzantium may become possible, according to the law of a single renaissance, and only in a new body. This is how ancient Greece returned as art during the Renaissance, as spirit in French classicism, and finally as philosophy with German idealism. […] The European duty of the Romanians, if any, is to reawaken this Byzantinism. Indeed, this people and land may have a great future." Das Spektrum Europas, Heidelberg, 1929

by Hermann Keyserling