Peter Jones

We could certainly do with a Tacitus now

7 December 2019 9:00 am

As a contemporary John Clapham reported, Queen Elizabeth I ‘had pleasure in reading the best and wisest histories’, and translated…

Socrates would have made the leaders’ debates real interrogations

30 November 2019 9:00 am

There is something deeply unsatisfying about the debates featuring party leaders. The questions put to them, whether by an audience…

The ancients were aware that there’s more to making speeches than just words

23 November 2019 9:00 am

Cicero said that the good orator could arouse in the listener many different feelings: ‘delight, grief, laughter, tears, admiration, hatred,…

For the ancient Greeks, the only point in taking part was to win

16 November 2019 9:00 am

The England team reached the final of the rugby world cup in Japan but they lost. As athletes, they knew…

Could a sex-strike solve Brexit?

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Last week the Lawyers Group of the charity Classics for All held its fifth moot (cf. ‘meet’) in the Supreme…

Roman funerals had real ‘emotional intelligence’

26 October 2019 9:00 am

Today’s funerals, featuring shiny black hearses and top hats, lack (we are assured) ‘emotional intelligence’. Colourful coffins featuring pictures of…

Who advises Dominic Cummings?

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Dominic Cummings, chief adviser to the Prime Minister, thinks that there is no ‘better book than Thucydides as training for politics’. But…

Extinction Rebellion proves Aristotle was right about the follies of youth

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Extinction Rebellion is blocking the streets again, foolishly demanding the impossible on a very important issue. But what does one…

Would the Athenians have held a second referendum?

28 September 2019 9:00 am

The Athenians invented the referendum: after debate in the citizens’ assembly, they voted through all political decisions by a show…

David Cameron would be a winner in Ancient Greece

21 September 2019 9:00 am

David Cameron is convinced he was right to call a referendum and to promise to enact it. Justifiably: there was…

Tacitus knew how to handle stories from ‘insiders’ and ‘sources’

14 September 2019 9:00 am

We read much about ‘fake news’ these days and of efforts to rid the internet of it. But what of…

Pericles for PM: Boris should forget Augustus and stay focused on his hero

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Boris Johnson is a gung-ho classicist. He has supported the subject throughout his journalistic and political career, is a generous…

How to deal with Brexit anger, according to the ancients

7 September 2019 9:00 am

Sir Philip Pullman, tweeting that thoughts of hanging the PM came to mind after the decision to prorogue parliament, later…

For a solution to the backstop, team up like Rome and Carthage

31 August 2019 9:00 am

The EU is demanding that, in return for a new deal, the UK must come up with a solution to…

Boris is facing his Sparta moment

24 August 2019 9:00 am

The PM’s hero is the Athenian statesman Pericles, and a Periclean crossroads is now approaching. According to the biographer Plutarch,…

How Boris’s Roman predecessors took back control

17 August 2019 9:00 am

The Tories, allegedly a ‘one-nation’ party, are currently imposing Brexit on a divided nation. As a result, some Tory MPs…

How Athenians would have broken the Brexit deadlock

10 August 2019 9:00 am

It is said that our political system is ‘broken’ simply because the passions aroused by Brexit have effectively created a…

Persia’s lessons for the PM

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Stanley Johnson suggests his son, the PM, will easily deal with Iran because he is well acquainted with Persian history…

Why cooks were a key ingredient in Greek comedy

27 July 2019 9:00 am

Hardly a week goes by without a cook — sorry, chef — going bananas about the desecration of his hallowed…

Roman plebs would have known how to tackle Corbyn’s cabal

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to take serious action against Labour’s anti-Semitic members is no surprise: Marxists know who their friends are.…

Politics, Pandora and the tender leaves of hope

13 July 2019 9:00 am

With parliament irretrievably deadlocked over Brexit and the EU intransigent, there remains little belief that either of the prime ministerial…

Do Greek plays really need a ‘modern twist’?

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Rufus Norris, the National Theatre’s artistic director, has revealed that all those tedious ancient plays will from now on be…

Rory’s classic mistakes

29 June 2019 9:00 am

If Rory Stewart had taken full advantage of his education at Eton and read classics at Oxford rather than PPE,…

Boris and the perils of popularity

22 June 2019 9:00 am

So: Boris triumphans, ready to deliver a 140-seat majority for the Tories and lead the UK out of Europe and…

What the next prime minister could learn from Cyrus the Great

15 June 2019 9:00 am

As Tory hopefuls bid to become prime minister, they might like to reflect on Cyrus the Great (r. 557-530 bc),…