For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

The Persian Wars

by Herodotus


Key Passage

Now whether this separation, like other customs, has come to Greece from Egypt, I cannot exactly judge. I know that in Thrace and Scythia and Persia and Lydia and nearly all foreign countries those who learn trades and their descendants are held in less esteem than the rest of the people, and those who have nothing to do with artisans’ work, especially men who are free to practise the art of war, are highly honoured. Thus much is certain, that this opinion, which is held by all Greeks and chiefly by the Lacedaemonians, is of foreign origin. It is in Corinth that artisans are held in least contempt. (p.481)


Herodotus, Ancient Greece, History, Historical Context, Military, War, Warfare, Craftsmanship


Ancient Greece

Links to Reference


Godley, A. D.



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