Classics

Horace, Virgil and Varius at the House of Maecenas, in the painting by Charles François Jellabert

Latin: dead or alive?

8 September 2018 9:00 am

A classics teacher’s struggle for survival, by Emma Park

Sign for a thermopolium (taverna) in Pompeii, depicting a phoenix, with the inscription ‘Phoenix Felix et Tu’ – ‘the Phoenix is happy (or lucky) – and you!’

The myth and magic of the phoenix

8 April 2017 9:00 am

The most appealing phoenix in literature is surely the eponymous bird from E. Nesbit’s 1904 classic, The Phoenix and the…

Thucydides had Martin McGuinness’s number

1 April 2017 9:00 am

When Gerry Adams rose to announce at his funeral that Martin McGuinness was no terrorist but a ‘freedom fighter’, the…

What it really means to cross the Rubicon (Theresa May’s about to do it)

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Last week many commentators drew on the Ides (15th) of March, the anniversary of Julius Caesar’s death in 44 BC, to…

How ancient Athens made the rich love taxes

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Now that Philip Hammond is promising yet more tax hikes, he might consider how Athens managed it. During the whole…

Plutarch: the father of anti-democracy

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Hardly a week goes by without someone applauding Thomas Carlyle’s objection to democracy: ‘I do not believe in the collective…

Donald Trump could be America’s Nero — if we’re lucky

4 February 2017 9:00 am

A Washington Post interview with ‘senior officials’ in the Trump White House reveals that ‘Trump… feels demoralised that the public’s…

Post-truths with Ovid and Tacitus

31 December 2016 9:00 am

We are told we live in a ‘post-truth’ world. This appears to mean that everyone believes everything they are told…

What Thucydides would have thought of Donald Trump

19 November 2016 9:00 am

‘America’s journey into the great unknown’, screamed a headline greeting Donald Trump’s election as next President of the United States.…

A warning for Nigel Farage from ancient Athens

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Frenzied outrage from Leavers and comical paeans of praise from Remainers greeted the High Court’s decision to instruct government that Parliament…

How Boris Johnson is like Socrates

22 October 2016 9:00 am

In writing an article that argued both for and against the European Union, Boris Johnson was following a solidly classical…

Advice for Jeremy Corbyn from the emperor Augustus

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected leader of the Labour party not by MPs but by his teenage ‘fans’ in Momentum.…

The Romans got it right on immigration

1 October 2016 9:00 am

As the UK prepares for Brexit into the big wide world outside, it has been pointed out that the Foreign…

Plato and the problem with grammar school

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Theresa May wants to use grammar schools to create a meritocratic, ‘socially mobile’ society at a cost of £50 million.…

Aristotle on the collective wisdom of Brexit voters

10 September 2016 9:00 am

It comes as no surprise to find that there has recently been much talk among Brexit supporters about ‘the wisdom…

Post-Brexit Britain should copy the Roman empire’s border policy

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Whether the EU commission knows what is good for it or not — always a tricky call — post-Brexit Britain…

How Olympia beat the cheats

6 August 2016 9:00 am

What to do about today’s Olympic drug cheats? Since ancient Greeks did not do chemistry, drugs were not a problem.…

Ancient and modern: Corbyn’s Labour is stuck in Plato’s cave

30 July 2016 9:00 am

Wrapped in his fantasy world of a Labour party ruling the country in accordance with the diktats of those of…

Sophocles vs the luvvie Remainers

23 July 2016 9:00 am

Is the Labour leadership hopeful Owen Smith, who longs to reverse the obviously undemocratic outcome of the recent referendum, aware…

Athenians understood public trust – even if we don’t

16 July 2016 9:00 am

Tony Blair has excused himself for the Iraq war by saying that he did what he believed was right. But…

Ancient worlds collide: Alexander and Porus at the Battle of Hydaspes, in what is now Punjab, painted by Charles Le Brun, 1673

Yes, classicists ignore the East – this books shows why

16 July 2016 9:00 am

Classics is a boastful subject. Even the name — classics — has an inner boast; as does the classics course…

The Delphic Oracle’s advice for Jeremy Corbyn

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Inscribed in the forecourt of the temple of Apollo in Delphi were the famous words gnôthi sauton (‘know yourself’) and…

How Plato predicted the EU referendum campaign

18 June 2016 9:00 am

Our politicians, realising that the referendum campaign will be settled not by themselves under the usual parliamentary constraints but by…

Why the Roman empire worked – and the EU empire doesn’t

11 June 2016 9:00 am

The principle of countries working harmoniously together is wholly admirable. Why, then, has the European Union become such a disaster area?…

How Aristotle would hire civil servants

4 June 2016 9:00 am

The civil service is to be allowed to find out what job applicants’ ‘socio-economic background’ is. What abject drivel is…