Athena leans upon her staff, her head bowed in mourning.  Goddess of both wisdom and warfare, she has an Olympian existential dilemma.  She is torn between two powerful forces, one derived from reason and experience, the other born of darker and more destructive impulses.  The well-being of the democratic city-state she defends, depends on the effective balancing of contradictory needs of the human heart and mind (i.e. the desire for both liberty and security).  So why does Athena mourn?  Has hubris or some other human flaw overridden wisdom?  Has the outcome been excessively and unnecessarily violent?  The 5th century B.C. sculpture described here, reminds us, as Greece experiences its 6th year of grinding depression, that the legacy it represents makes us all children of Athens and her patron goddess.  The shining city-state on a hill, and the Classical Age in general, constitute the wellsprings of so much that we revere and love in the western world.  In this sense, we are all Greeks.  Wisdom, derived from a brief examination of responses to past economic crises, and a balanced sense of equity indicate, that the conditions currently imposed on Greece are unwise, unsustainable, and unjust.  Reason and decency indicate that these conditions must be alleviated and a real consensus found regarding the way forward.

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