The second implication of the Trojan legend may be stated briefly by saying that the Romans were descended from the vanquished, and not the victors, in the Trojan war. Most writers completely ignored this implication. Some rode majestically above it and pointed to the contemporary greatness of Rome, which they regarded as Troy's final triumph. Other writers, meditating, as was frequent in the ancient world, on the rise and fall of great cities, contrasted the rise of Trojan Rome with the fall of Greece, as though the balance disturbed by the sack of Troy had been restored by a consequent reversal of fortunes. In certain cases one feels that the author is simply reflecting as a philosopher, and citing Greece and Troy as examples of the fulfilment of a natural law; but usually the tone is not disinterested, and one has the impression that Roman writers are primarily concerned in extolling Rome, while Greeks lament the wretchedness of Greece. Typical of the latter are the poems of the Greek Anthology which speak of the deserted place where Mycenae once stood. Alpheios of Mytilene, for example, writes thus:
Ἄργος, Ὁμηρικὲ μῦθε, καὶ Ἑλλάδος ἱερὸν οὖδας,
καὶ χρυσέη τὸ πάλαι Περσέος ἀκρόπολι,
ἔσβεσαθ' ἡρώων κείνων κλέος οἵ ποτε Τροίης
ἤρειψαν κατὰ γῆς θειόδομον στέφανον.
ἀλλ' ἡ μὲν κρείσσων ἐστὶν πόλις' αἱ δὲ πεσοῦσαι
δείκνυσθ' εὐμύκων αὔλια βουκολίων.