Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Real Life & Anti-Romanticism

Thucydides is an anti-romantic. If anyone finds a less romantic sentence than this, please let me see it (5.116.3-4):

Reinforcements afterwards arriving from Athens in consequence, under the command of Philocrates son of Demeas, the siege was now pressed vigorously, and some treachery taking place inside, the Melians surrendered at discretion to the Athenians, who put to death all the grown men whom they took, and sold the women and children for slaves, and subsequently sent out five hundred colonists and settled the place themselves.

Bleak enough by itself, these are the concluding words in the chapter containing the famous Melian Dialogue, in which the rag-tag rebel Melians tell the Athenians to get stuffed. This is the way 300 would have ended in an alternate universe. Clearly superior power overruns outnumbered, noble, brave, and honorable crew of desperate men killing all of them and enslaving their families.

Last few days spent dealing with water heater replacement and school silliness. Please return soon, Muse, you are sorely missed.

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