The Greeks were the classicists of antiquity and they are still today the preeminent classicists. What marked all they did, the classic stamp, is a direct simplicity in expressing the significance of actual life. It was there the Greek artists and poets found what they wanted. The unfamiliar and the extraordinary were on the whole repellent to them and they detested every form of exaggeration. Their desire was to express truthfully what lay at hand, which they saw as beautiful and full of meaning. But that was not the Roman way. When not directly under Greek guidance the Roman did not perceive beauty in every-day matters, or indeed care to do so. Beauty was unimportant to him. Life in his eyes was a very serious and a very arduous business, and he had no time for what he would have thought of as a mere decoration of it.