Ancient and modern

Ancient and modern: Ovid on selfies

11 January 2014 9:00 am

A ‘meme’ is ‘an idea, behaviour, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture, often by mimicry’.…

Why does the year start in January?

4 January 2014 9:00 am

The ancients were an inquisitive lot, a characteristic shown to best effect in works like Aristotle’s Problems (‘Why do sex-maniacs’…

While shepherds watched, civilisation was born

14 December 2013 9:00 am

‘And lo, there were shepherds in the fields, watching over their flocks by night…’   Reading recently that it was…

Master charlatans at work

7 December 2013 9:00 am

To watch the Revd Paul Flowers being grilled by the Treasury Select Committee on his role in the demise of…

Barometer: How the new 'third class' would be worse than the Victorian version

30 November 2013 9:00 am

The grim tales of ‘modern slavery’ that are currently emerging across the UK make one wonder whether ancient Roman slavery…

The age of consent according to Aristotle

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Prime Minister Cameron has rejected the proposal that the age of sexual consent be reduced from 16 to 15, arguing…

What are you doing for 'Live like a Stoic' week?

9 November 2013 9:00 am

On 21 November The Spectator is hosting a discussion about addiction — disease or choice? — and how we should…

Grayson Perry thinks democracy has bad taste. Is that why he sells luxury goods to the rich? 

2 November 2013 9:00 am

‘Democracy has bad taste’, declared potter Grayson Perry in his Reith Lectures on the BBC about art. Tell that to…

Why did Athenians resort to arbitration by hedgehog? 

26 October 2013 9:00 am

Since trial by jury is so expensive, government is keen to cut costs on legal aid by ‘alternative dispute resolutions’…

Gaddafi and the greatest sex tyrants in classical history

19 October 2013 9:00 am

A new book about Colonel Gaddafi goes into shocking detail about his monstrous sexual appetites. He used rape as a…

Livy on Ed Miliband

12 October 2013 9:00 am

What should we make of Ed’s support for his father Ralph against the Daily Mail? Livy’s life of Torquatus suggests…

Aristotle on winning the centre ground

5 October 2013 9:00 am

Party conferences always provide the most agreeable spectacle of politicians desperately trying to appeal to both the diehards among the…

No wonder Damian McBride has attracted the contempt even of Alistair Campbell

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Damian McBride’s revelations about back-stabbing in Gordon’s imperial court raise a serious question: what was in it for him? The…

Plebs rule!

21 September 2013 9:00 am

Momentarily banish thoughts of policemen on duty at the House of Commons, and picture a Roman pleb. You will probably…

Herodotus in Sochi

14 September 2013 9:00 am

As a result of Russian laws against propagating homosexuality, there are calls to boycott the 2013 Winter Olympics in Sochi…

What the Roman general Vegetius could teach Obama about Syria

7 September 2013 9:00 am

So the USA must launch its onslaught against Syria without the Brits. Well, if Obama will make public announcements of…

Varro on The Apprentice

31 August 2013 9:00 am

Budding businesswoman Luisa Zissman, with her A in A-level English, has enquired whether ‘Bakers Toolkit’ or ‘Baker’s Toolkit’ is correct.…

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…

Lucretius vs Richard Dawkins

17 August 2013 9:00 am

Richard Dawkins has been confusing his categories again, comparing Trinity College, Cambridge, with Islam. His attack on religion does precisely…

Epictetus on Twitter

10 August 2013 9:00 am

One definition of addiction is repetition of a behaviour despite adverse consequences. Twitter users will know all about it, especially…

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…

Plato on the Today programme

27 July 2013 9:00 am

A woman is invited to join the Today programme, and the chatteratae are immediately a-twitter on the subject of female…

Why Egypt needs a Socrates

20 July 2013 9:00 am

No one seems to know, or is willing to say, whether the Egyptian army’s intervention in Egyptian democracy was legal…

Ancient and modern: Socrates on TV election debates

13 July 2013 9:00 am

Lord Hennessy has been arguing that, as a result of TV debates between party leaders prior to elections, ‘the plausible…

Common enemies

6 July 2013 9:00 am

One assumes that it will eventually dawn on those so deeply committed to slaughtering each other in Syria that, whatever…