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Ancient and modern

Alexis Tsipras is just doing what an ancient Athenian would

His heroic refusal to be cowed by the EU should be an example to us all

11 July 2015

9:00 AM

11 July 2015

9:00 AM

The EU finds it difficult to understand what drives the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Quite simply, he is a fifth-century bc Athenian democrat living in a 21st-century oligarchic world.

Ancient Greeks feared two conditions above all that would mark them out as losers and bring undying shame: humiliation (hubris is the key word) and dependency.

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