Rejoice Jerusalem | Crisis Magazine

three-cherub-Eduardo Tojetti

It is ironic that the scintillating Graeco-Syrian Saint Luke was martyred, according to tradition in Boeotia, a humid and swampy part of central Greece whose people were said to be not interested in philosophy or much of anything beyond their uneventful daily lives. That may have been the propaganda of the superior Athenians, who caricatured the Boeotians and indeed anyone not Athenian, the way some Irish make Kerrymen the butt of jokes. The great Pindar was Boeotian, but for the most part the fetid place was not considered a nursery of genius and the Boeotians remained the equivalent of people today whose cultural universe is confined to watching ESPN. The Romans absorbed the Greek prejudice and had an expression: “Boeotum in crasso jurares aere natum”— “You’d swear he was born in the thick air of Boeotia.”

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