"There followed next a massive escalation of what until then had essentially been nothing more serious than a bout of competitive princess-rustling -- and the fault was all the Greeks'. Or so the Persians claim, at any rate -- for they point out out that long before they every thought of invading Europe, it was the Greeks who invaded Asia. Granted, the Persians acknowledge, stealing women is never acceptable behaviour; but really, they ask, what is the point, once a woman has been stolen, in kicking up a great fuss about it, and pursuing some ridiculous vendetta, when every sensible man knows that the best policy is to affect an utter lack of concern? It is clear enough, after all, that women are never abducted unless they are open to the idea of it in the first place. So it was, the Persians, claim, that people in Asia remained pretty much unperturbed by the theft of their women -- but the Greeks, simply to get back the wife of a single Spartan, assembled a huge task-force, invaded Asia, and annihilated the empire of Priam. Ever since then, the Persians have viewed the Greeks as a people inveterately hostile to them."
--Herodotus, Histories, trans. Tom Holland
I remember reading Herodotus in college, but I don't remember him being this amusing.
Learning Notes Week of April 24
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