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Ancient and modern

Why Hesiod would have gone for Grexit

Strife and competition motivate all – so go for the braver option, Mr Tsipras

27 June 2015

9:00 AM

27 June 2015

9:00 AM

Why do Greeks want to keep the euro, or remain in the European Union? The combative, creative, competitive, mercantile classical Greeks throve on independence.

The farmer-poet Hesiod (c. 700 BC) makes the point about competition by calling it Eris, ‘strife’, which he characterises as painful but also helpful. On the one hand, he said, it creates conflict and discord; on the other, ‘It gets the shiftless working.

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