An Interesting reference to the Athenians

I am currently reading the unabridged version of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. In the 5th chapter of the 3rd book of the first volume, entitled Fantine, Hugo makes an interesting comparison between Parisians of the early 1800s and the Athenians.

“The Parisian is among the Frenchmen what the Athenian was among the Greeks.  Nobody sleeps better than he, nobody is more frankly frivolous and idle as he.  Nobody seems to forget things more easily than he.”

This is an interesting stand on the Athenians.  One that we have not encountered before.  However, maybe Hugo is referring to the Socratic corner of Athens?  Some of the ideas that we have looked at could easily be classified as frivolous (what is the pious?).

This was just something that caught my attention, and I thought it would be something interesting to share.


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