February 15, 2011

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: What We Can Learn From Thucydides. “We worry about the end of the world. The Greeks worried about seeing their city burned, the men killed, the women and children forced into slavery. Their culture, their identity, their dignity, their rights: gone with the wind. Our fear seems detached from daily life; theirs was part of it. We watch our enemies hurl threats on TV; they watched besieging armies from their city walls.”

And, of course, we see the Greeks’ enemies as fellow Greeks, and wonder why they didn’t stick together against the barbarians, and the Persians, rather than constantly fighting among themselves. Mead is discussing Donald Kagan’s The Peloponnesian War.

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