"Gradually the Greeks lost their brilliance, which had been as the bright freshness of early youth. This is painfully obvious in their literature, if not in other forms of art. Their initiative vanished; they ceased to create and began to comment. Patriotism, with rare exceptions, became an empty name, for few had the high spirit and energy to translate into action man's duty to the State. Vacillation, indecision, fitful outbursts of unhealthy activity followed by cowardly depression, selfish cruelty, and criminal weakness are characteristic of the public life of Greece from the struggle with Macedonia to the final conquest by the arms of Rome. No one can fail to be struck by the marked difference between the period from Marathon to the Peloponnesian War and the period from Alexander to Mummius. Philosophy also suffered, and became deeply pessimistic even in the hands of its best and noblest exponents. 'Absence of feeling,' 'absence of care'--such were the highest goals of human endeavour."
From Malaria and Greek History, 1909