Ancient greece

What MPs need is an oath with consequences

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Before taking their seats in Parliament, all MPs must swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen. Mark Durkan, MP…

How the Romans taught Latin (N.M. Gwynne would not approve)

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Barely a week passes without someone complaining about the teaching of English or foreign languages, usually because it involves too…

Aristotle had David Mellor’s number (Andrew Mitchell’s, too)

6 December 2014 9:00 am

Andrew Mitchell and his ‘effing pleb’ of a policeman, David Mellor and his ‘stupid sweaty little shit of a taxi…

Aristophanes on Mazher Mahmood

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Undercover journalist Mazher Mahmood, otherwise known as the Fake Sheikh, has been accused of dodgy dealing in luring the innocent…

The lesson of Athens: to make people care about politics, give them real power

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Voters explain their apathy about politics on the grounds that the politicians do not understand them. No surprise there, an…

No, Richard Branson, our greatest achievements don’t come from our greatest pain

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Explaining the death of a pilot testing a Virgin Galactic rocket-ship, Sir Richard Branson intoned: ‘I truly believe that humanity’s…

Why the Ancient Greeks thought adultery was worse than rape

25 October 2014 9:00 am

A footballer serves his sentence for rape, insisting on his innocence. Debate rages whether he should play again. To us,…

Hannibal (and Alexander the Great) vs the Islamic State

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Whatever the Islamic State hopes ultimately to achieve by its current onslaught on all and sundry in the Middle East,…

What Aristotle would have made of Brooks Newmark's selfies

11 October 2014 9:00 am

News that the soon-to-be-ex-Tory MP Brooks Newmark has sent pictures of his genitals to a second (presumed female) contact has centred…

Would Alex Salmond give up his job to a heckler? It happened in Athens

6 September 2014 9:00 am

Alex Salmond claims to be thrilled that so many people in Scotland are suddenly gripped by politics. The importance of…

Why the Ancient Greeks didn’t have middle-aged spread

23 August 2014 9:00 am

A drug has been invented to halt what is known as middle-aged spread. But it would be so much better…

Demosthenes’ lessons in ambition for Boris Johnson

16 August 2014 9:00 am

The ancient Greek word for ‘ambition’ was philotimia: ‘love of high esteem in others’ eyes’. Both Boris and Alex Salmond…

Assisted dying? Ancient religion was all for it

12 July 2014 9:00 am

There is something mildly unexpected about religious groups’ hostility to euthanasia. After all, in the ancient world one of the…

Brussels will treat Britain as Macedonia treated Sparta

5 July 2014 9:00 am

The EU is a federation of states (Latin foedus, ‘treaty’, from the same root as fides, ‘trust, good faith’). But…

How ancient Athens beat tax avoidance

21 June 2014 8:00 am

The taxman will soon be ordering those planning dodgy tax avoidance schemes to declare them beforehand and pay the full…

The true gods of football (hint: they don’t work for Fifa)

14 June 2014 8:00 am

The World Cup has started, and the gods of football will be in their heaven for a whole month. Not…

How the Ancient Greeks did wealth taxes

31 May 2014 9:00 am

After 685 tightly argued pages, the ‘superstar’ economist Thomas Piketty unfolds his master-plan for closing the gap between the rich…

How Plato and Aristotle would have tackled unemployment

24 May 2014 9:00 am

Labour is up in arms because many of the new jobs currently being created are among the self-employed. This seems…

Socrates on Maria Miller

12 April 2014 9:00 am

Our former culture secretary, Maria Miller, is still apparently baffled at the fuss created by her fighting to the last…

Is David Cameron trying to imitate the Delphic Oracle?

5 April 2014 9:00 am

Nigel Farage rather missed a trick in his debate over the EU with Nick Clegg. The Prime Minister has promised…

Sorry, Rory Stewart, but you don't understand the Greeks

18 January 2014 9:00 am

In last week’s Spectator, Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith, was reported to be proposing that we should create in Britain…

Ancient and modern: Modern Egypt vs ancient Athens

24 August 2013 9:00 am

Whatever problems Greeks and Romans faced, a politicised priesthood was not one of them. They might have made three observations…

Ancient and modern: Herodotus on 111

3 August 2013 9:00 am

The NHS 111 line, designed to deal with problems that do not count as emergencies, is in financial and organisational…

Imperial Athens and imperial Brussels

8 June 2013 9:00 am

Last week Matthew Parris argued that Ukip was ‘extremist’ because its supporters thought of the EU’s ‘methods, despotism and oppression…

Aristophanes’ advice for Nigel Farage

11 May 2013 9:00 am

Ukip is on the march, and the F word on the lips of every ashen-faced MP in the House —…