Rereading Pliny

Dalrymple has long made no bones about the fact that he finds sports utterly worthless, or even worse than that. After quoting in Taki’s Magazine an eye-opening letter on the subject from Pliny (eye-opening as one of those items of history that so clearly connects ancient behavior to contemporary, and thus proves the permanence of the human condition), he adds:

For a brief period we had made an advance over Pliny’s time, but I suppose regression to the stupid was inevitable. And in a strange way, reading Pliny’s letter is reassuring. If human folly has remained much the same and taken a similar form over two millennia, then one finds it easier to accept it just as it is, as inevitable, and to feel no duty to reform or enlighten it. And—let us be frank—one has follies of one’s own.

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