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Walked around the Acropolis today. It was teaming w/ tourists, smoking, bumping into each other, posing w/ selfie-sticks, reading emails. In a way they were an essential part of the experience--a reminder that greatness survives as much or more in spite of us than because of us.
It was remarkable as we looked around and noted that democracy was invented over on that platform over there and drama was invented on that stage below us and on that rock St. Paul helped create Christianity.
And then we saw a frieze that depicted the battle of Marathon and saw where Alexander mounted conquered Persian shields and saw the damage created by Romans, Venetians, the Ottomans, the British and neglect.
And you can't help but see the battles between East and West and among religions and the toll taken by brutality and ignorance have been a constant. Maybe that's comforting. We have survived it before. But it is also not a little depressing.
In the end, it was inspiring and fascinating. But it was not so much as a monument to antiquity to me as a very much alive reminder about people like us and times like ours.
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