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Ancient and modern

Pliny the Younger on Fifa

What he said about corruption still rings true: ‘The most serious diseases are those diffused from the head’

6 June 2015

9:00 AM

6 June 2015

9:00 AM

In any huge enterprise (like Fifa), where does the rot begin? Pliny the Younger mused on this question in a letter to a friend about a games festival held in the Roman colony Vienna (Vienne, south of Lyons).

Vienna had been celebrating Greek-style gymnastic games as a result of a bequest, when the town’s mayor decided to abolish them; they were corrupting, unlike good, honest Roman games.

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