Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quote of the Week

"There is a long history of public discussion across the world. Even the all-conquering Alexander was treated to a good example of public criticism as he roamed around in northwest India around 325 B.C.  When Alexander asked a group of Jain philosophers why they were neglecting to pay any attention to the great conqueror (Alexander was clearly disappointed by these Indian philosophers' lack of interest in him), he received the following forceful reply:
'King Alexander, every man can posses only so much of the earth's surface as this we are standing on. You are but human like the rest of us, save that you are always busy and up to no good, traveling so many miles from your home, a nuisance to yourself and to others! . . . You will soon be dead, and then you will own just as much of the earth as will suffice to bury you.' "

From Identity and Violence by Amartya Sen (who quotes from Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography by Peter Green)

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