Ancient and modern

Opposition supporters take to the streets against Nicolás Maduro [GETTY IMAGES]

How to get away with being a tyrant

16 February 2019 9:00 am

Last week, in an effort to understand what that left-wing hero Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela, must be suffering, Hieron,…

Poor old Nicolás Maduro

9 February 2019 9:00 am

However much he is heroised by left-wingers, the Venezuelan ‘tyrant’ Nicolás Maduro must wonder what is in it for him.…

Sick of award ceremonies? So were the ancients

2 February 2019 9:00 am

All over the world, from Armenia (the Silver Apricot) to India (the Golden Conch) and the UK (the Shaftas, honest),…

The rejection of the people’s mandate – then and now

19 January 2019 9:00 am

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling may be quite right (not words one often reads) to warn that failure to deliver…

Those tempted to turn over a new leaf this year should remember Aesop’s fables

12 January 2019 9:00 am

At this time of year the media urge us all to turn over a new leaf and believe that we…

How the year began

5 January 2019 9:00 am

Why are our years structured as they are? Censorinus in his de die natali (‘Birthday Book’) for his chum Caerellius…

What would Jesus’s childhood have been like? 

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Around 1 ad a 14-year-old Jewish Arab girl called Maryam, almost certainly in Nazareth in Galilee, gave birth to a…

Socrates vs Steve Bannon

24 November 2018 9:00 am

The country’s champions of free speech — the police — were recently out in force to ensure that the alt-right…

Call the polis

17 November 2018 9:00 am

If Brussels is willing to offer the British Parliament only a dog’s Brexit, that should tell Parliament everything it needs…

Doctors and death

27 October 2018 9:00 am

The Royal College of Physicians has suggested that doctors should learn to talk to patients about death. But talk about…

The Romans liked a stylish death

20 October 2018 9:00 am

World Mental Health day raised again the issue of suicide, still regarded as happening only among those ‘whose balance of…

What the NHS does now, Babylon did first

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Financial constraints combined with a shortage of staff have brought the NHS to a situation so desperate that it is…

Corbyn’s false democracy

6 October 2018 9:00 am

At the Labour party conference, Jeremy Corbyn said that he would do whatever his party members told him to. This,…

Where there’s a quid there must be a quo

29 September 2018 9:00 am

The 5th century bc Athenian historian Thucydides proposed that the driving force behind interstate relations was power and fear. But…

The EU’s divide and rule

22 September 2018 9:00 am

‘Divide and rule’ (or ‘conquer’) diplomacy aims to disunite the opposition, the better to control it. The ancients were masters…

Boris Johnson and the art of rhetoric

15 September 2018 9:00 am

Boris the rhetorician is in full voice at the moment, delighting his followers and infuriating his enemies. But is this…

Alex Salmond’s fishing

8 September 2018 9:00 am

The ex-leader of the SNP, Alex ‘Five Pensions’ Salmond, has scrounged nearly £100,000 from the people to help him in…

Ancient and modern: Antigone and algorithms

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Hardly a day goes by without someone making excitable predictions about human progress and how, thanks to AI, we are…

Let’s hear your ‘logos’, Jeremy Corbyn

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Jeremy Corbyn regularly apologises on the subject of anti-Semitism, yet admits that he has done nothing wrong. So what does…

Water, water, everywhere

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Given that we use only 2 per cent of the rain that falls on these islands, one would not think…

Strangers and brothers

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Everyone talks about the importance of ‘charisma’ in a politician. But while it may take one a long way with…

Where does authority really lie in the UK? The ancients would have known

14 July 2018 9:00 am

Forget David Davis, Boris, the cabinet, the commentariat. It’s time to concentrate on the big picture and the central question:…

John McDonnell might soon regret handing out copies of Cicero

7 July 2018 9:00 am

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has given all his cabinet a copy of Cicero’s advice on how to win arguments. This…

Fat was not a Greek issue

30 June 2018 9:00 am

The UK obesity crisis is again in the headlines, and ‘life-style’ is the culprit. The ancients may have come up…

The ancients would have understood Trump’s chaotic leadership

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Peace with his enemy Kim Jong-un on the one hand, conflict with his European allies on the other: what sense…