Monday, June 29, 2009


I'm reading Victor Davis Hanson's "A War Like No Other", which looks at the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Something that struck me was how incredibly wealthy Athens was at the time. Imagine Toledo, Ohio with a one billion dollar budget surplus, *after* funding everything everyone could think of. I can't quote directly because the book isn't in front of me, but the lasting output of Greek theater and architecture (like the Acropolis), were as much a function of wealth as of dynamic creativity.


Mike Wilson said...

Hmm... That's interesting. I wonder...

Ugh, I think about politics too much.

Neat stuff. Hanson's books keep slipping through the cracks in my reading list.

Mookie said...

Of course money led to the development of the arts moreso then the people. Money and wealth mean spare time and people always want to be entertained when they dont have to work for a living.

I'd also hazard to say that the Greeks, or more particularly the Athenians, weren't necessarily the smartest in the bunch - just the most anal about saving paperwork/writing things down and the most charismatic in terms of who gets written about. Its a lot harder to give credit to people for brilliance when the cultures history is oral rather then written.