LETTER TO THE EDITOR
“War was a stern teacher… To fit in with the change of events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings. What used to be described as a ‘thoughtless act of aggression’ was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action.
“Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man, and to plot against an enemy behind his back was perfectly legitimate self-defense.
“Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became a suspect.
“To plot successfully was a sign of intelligence, but it was still cleverer to see that a plot was hatching… Family relations were a weaker tie than party membership, since party members were more ready to go to any extreme for any reason whatever… ”
Dr Craig San Roque
Source: Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War, translated by R Warner 1956, reprinted 1971. Book 111 82 pp208-09. Referenced by Marianne McDonald in her commentary on “Cacoyannis and Euripides – Ipheginia as modern political commentary”, 20 October 2010, Instituto Nazionale del Drama Antico Foundation Siracusa, Prometeus on line magazine.