Ancient and modern

Cicero would have been quick to end the lockdown

9 May 2020 9:00 am

The Prime Minister recently quoted Cicero’s famous dictum salus populi suprema lex esto, translating it as ‘Let the health (salus)…

A happy hebdomaversary to The Spectator

25 April 2020 9:00 am

The Spectator’s 10,000th hebdomaversary (hebdomas, ‘a group of seven’: a weekly cannot have an anniversary) will surely be celebrated with…

Movie-makers should look to the Athenians before cashing in on this crisis

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Covid-19 has not yet reached its peak but already the moguls of the small screen are plotting how to monetise,…

How did the ancients cope in a crisis?

11 April 2020 9:00 am

When a major crisis strikes in the modern world, the state and international bodies such as the IMF and World…

Pericles would have approved of the PM’s response to the pandemic

4 April 2020 9:00 am

It must be infuriating for those who see the Prime Minister as a prisoner of a rigid elitist mindset that…

How to be self-sufficient

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Those with signs of Covid-19 are being asked to ‘self-isolate’ (Latin insula, ‘island’). But do they have the mindset for…

Coronavirus and the lessons of the Athenian plague

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Plagued by the past

Viral hysteria

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Last week Ross Clark expatiated on the hysteria and panic generated by Covid-19 that threatens to send the world into…

Boris is taking an emperor’s approach to briefings

29 February 2020 9:00 am

The PM is insisting that the briefings he finds in his red box every evening should be, well, brief, and…

What Boris has in common with Roman emperor Augustus

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

The PM was filmed introducing his new cabinet by getting them to answer in unison how many hospitals, how many…

Ancient Athens would have been horrified by Trump’s impeachment

15 February 2020 9:00 am

An impeachment trial is overseen by Congress and Senate, who both make the law and (in this case) sit in…

The ancients would have thought Boris was deluded

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

The gloom that envelopes the Labour party stands in strong contrast to the confidence and hope that the Prime Minister…

Lord Heseltine could launch a Farage-style fight-back

1 February 2020 9:00 am

Lord Heseltine’s electrifying hair once whipped the party faithful into paroxysms of euphoria. But since today he sees his hopes…

What would the ancient Greeks have made of Megxit?

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

There are as many explanations for Harry and Meghan’s problems with the royal family as there are commentators. May as…

Does ‘equality’ mean the same to Rebecca Long-Bailey as it did to Plato?

18 January 2020 9:00 am

The candidates battling for the leadership of the Labour party never stop banging on about ‘social justice’ and ‘equality’. But…

What difference will ‘weirdos and misfits’ make to the civil service?

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Dominic Cummings has written a modest blog inviting mathematicians, physicists, AI specialists and other experts to help him revolutionise the…

It’s science, not protest, that will save the planet

21 December 2019 9:00 am

One might expect that the challenge of climate change would encourage many young people to take up Stem (science, technology,…

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…