Monday, May 14, 2012

Faded Glory

May the sailor who brought me [to Athens] die miserably.  Athens contains nothing magnificent except its place names.  When a sacrificial victim is burnt only the skin remains as an indication of what animal that once was; just so, now that philosophy has deserted Athens, all that remains is to wander and wonder at the Academy and the Lyceum; ... Athens was indeed once a city, the home of the wise; now it is inhabited by bee-keepers.

--Synesius, Letters 135 [395 AD]
Richard Stoneman trans, in 
Richard Stoneman, A Literary Companion to Travel in Greece  (1984).

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