November 19, 2012

Revenge of the Mediterranean Man

Michael Knox Beran, National Review

AP Photo

In antiquity the Mediterranean peoples despised the yokels of northern Europe. The “masters of the fairest and most wealthy climates of the globe,” Gibbon says, “turned with contempt from gloomy hills assailed by the winter tempest, from lakes concealed in a blue mist, and from cold and lonely heaths, over which the deer of the forest were chased by a troop of naked barbarians.” The barbarians avenged this contempt when, coming down from the northern forests, they sacked the Mediterranean cities. Yet the northern man — whether Goth, Visigoth, or Vandal — was willing to learn from the Mediterranean man whose sanctuaries he despoiled. Having destroyed the Roman Empire, he was civilized by the Roman Church.

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TAGGED: Europe, Mediterranean, Greece, Eurozone

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