American Elegy | Daniel Maidman

August 5, 2014 1:24 AM

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American Elegy | Daniel Maidman

Pericles was born in 495 B.C. Aristotle died in 322. People who were born and died between those years include Praxiteles, Euripides, Herodotus, Thucydides, Socrates, and Plato. The Parthenon and the Long Walls were built. The Persian and Peloponnesian Wars were pursued and completed. Many of the core concepts and even specific works and images which, for us, constitute civilization, came to be in this shimmering 173-year interval.

Now consider an Athenian born the day Aristotle died. He is the inheritor of breathtaking riches; his city is the crown of culture. But as he grows into his thirties, forties, fifties, age will confide to him that things really are worse than they used to be. Titans bestrode the Earth only one gener...

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