In Jules Dassin's 1960 film Never on Sunday, an American tourist tries to redeem the Piraeus whore Illia by showing her the treasures of classical Greece. At Athens' ancient amphitheater, they see Euridipes' tragedy Medea, in which the eponymous heroine murders her two sons by the faithless Jason. As the actors take their final bow, Illia laughs and claps, for she innocently believes that the play is still in progress. The presence of the live actors proves that no one really has died, she insists to her exasperated host, concluding, "And then they all go to the seashore."
Illia's understanding of Greek tragedy reminds me of Victor Davis Hanson's understanding of Greek history. The mind of this popular military historian, purveyor of White House bedside reading and Internet apologist for US foreign policy, turns in tight circles around a single thought: Why did Athens invade Sicily in 415 BC? The Sicilian disaster sent Athens down to defeat in the 27-year Peloponnesian War, and paved the way for the Macedonian conquest of Greece and the end of Athenian democracy. "That has been troubling us supporters of democracies these past 2,400 years," he concedes [A War Like No Other]. It was all a matter of bad luck, Hanson concludes, and might as well not have happened.
... the rest.