Repetitions of history: Germany and Macedon

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This is the third part in a series on the Repetition of history. The first part dealt with Europe and Ancient Greece and the second part with France and Athens.

We last left off:

The Delian League, the Aetolian League, and the Peloponnesian League gave way to the League of Nations, the United Nations, and the European Union. As Sparta and Athens interrupted their wars with a joint defense against Persia, France fought England for a Hundred Years, then united with it twice to repel an existential threat from a fellow nation on the Continent.

That threat was from Germans, who Durant tells us are the new Macedonians. Philip II of Macedon systematically invaded city-states in Attica--tribes in Illryia, Thessaly, Thrace, and Thebes, before uniting the region under his rule (except for Athens' rival, Sparta) with the eventual defeat of Athens. Twenty-three centuries later, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Denmark, before solidifying all of Europe (except for France's rival, England) under his rule with the defeat of France. Philip's son, Alexander the Great, initiated the decline of his the empire by plunging eastward into Persian and India, just as Hitler's empire began to crumble with his defeat by Russia on the Eastern Front.

In 200 BC, Rome declared war on Macedon to liberate Greece, winning three years later only to withdraw their forces. In 1941 the United States went to war with Germany, liberating Europe three years later, only to withdraw their forces.

That brings us to our third great comparison. Athens is France, Macedonians are Germans, and the Greek peninsula is modern-day Europe.

"We are the Romans," Durant said. "We are the Romans who imported Greek civilization; we imported European civilization."

Rome was heavily influenced by Greece, its cultural mother. She learned from her, looked up to her, took care of her when she was poisoned by her excesses, sought independence from her, yet ultimately became her. Rome's undoing was the ultimate Greek tragedy--a life simultaneously given vigor and decay by the same Greek virtue.

Before Rome could fall, however, it needed to be created.

This blog attempts to add perspective and context to local and national politics, through a variety of disciplines, such as history, economics, and philosophy--all tempered with common sense. About the author

Eric Ingemunson's commentary has been featured on Hannity, CNN, NBC, Inside Edition, and KFI's The John and Ken Show. Eric was born and raised in Ventura County and currently resides in Moorpark. He earned a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University. As a conservative, Eric supports smaller government, less taxation, more individual freedom, the rule of law, and a strict adherence to the Constitution.