The Greeks: plus ça change…

Cheri speaks as though from my own heart in lamenting the Greeks. How, oh how, to reconcile their ancient grandeur with their Euro-busting, book-cooking financial profligacy of today?

And then I remembered that passage by Polybius, that great Greek sage, which I reproduce here to cause a smirk rather than offense.

In The Rise of the Roman Empire (VI, 56), he tells us that

among the Greeks… men who hold public office cannot be trusted with the safe-keeping of so much as a single talent, even if they have ten accountants and as many seals and twice as many witnesses, whereas among the Romans their magistrates handle large sums of money and scrupulously perform their duty because they have given their word on oath.

Now, clearly one part of his observation seems, ahem, dated and the other rather au courant. 😉

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