Thucydides was an Athenian historian recording the fall of that great city. Today we remember Athens for its culture and philosophy, but how it died is relevant for us. According to Thucydides, Athens became drunk with power and prosperity. Its former success convinced Athens that it was superior to any other city and should dominate its neighbors. It saw itself as the “school” for other cultures. Coming to value power and prosperity over all else, Athens exhausing its resources, and fell victim to those it had victimized. Let those who have ears….
“The fate of those of their neighbours who had already rebelled and had been subdued was no lesson to them; their own prosperity could not dissuade them from affronting danger; but blindly confident in the future, and full of hopes beyond their power though not beyond their ambition, they declared war and made their decision to prefer might to right, their attack being determined not by provocation but by the moment which seemed propitious. The truth is that great good fortune coming suddenly and unexpectedly tends to make a people insolent; in most cases it is safer for humankind to have success in reason than out of reason; and it is easier for them, one may say, to stave off adversity than to preserve prosperity. Book III, 3.39-