History Lessons

Blogger-friend Hugh Curtler is a reader and a thinker, as am I. But Hugh takes it a step farther, as he is able to see parallels that I, frankly, would miss. Often he finds those parallels in history and literature that reflect our situation today, and once again he has done so. We tend to think, not only here in the U.S., but also around the globe, that the world we are living in today is unique, that such political turmoil and angst belongs to this time and place alone. But, as Hugh has once again pointed out, history is cyclic, and the world has seen similar conditions in the past. Why does this matter, you ask? It matters because there are lessons to be learned from the mistakes of the past. And if we apply those lessons, perhaps we can avoid some of the mistakes from long ago. So, I share this excellent post by Hugh in hopes that we can all learn from a bit of ancient history. Thank you, Hugh, for your insight and for allowing me to share it.


After Athens and Sparta led the Greeks in battle against the mammoth forces of Persia and won the battle of Marathon — where Herodotus estimates that they were outnumbered as much as 10 to 1, the Greeks formed the Delian league which exacted tribute from the various Greek City-States too help build Greek forces against possible future attacks. The funds were kept at Delos, home of the Delphic Oracle and a place sacred to the Greeks.

Eventually, Athens transferred the money to Athens and used it to help them build their navy and arm their forces (and the Parthenon), while assuming control of many of the City-Sates that were weaker than they. Indeed, the Athenians thought it only natural that the stronger should take control of the weaker. And, oddly enough, the rest of the Greeks seem to have adopted that view as well — even the weak ones! But eventually…

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