Greeks vs Romans: YOU DECIDE
He had noticed not only the TLS's latest classics issue -
and the beginings of what will doubtless be a lengthy row in our letters page over sex in ancient temples and theatres -
Greeks vs Romans.
That's what we are going to consider.
What has each civilisation done for us?
What is each still doing?
Before our audience at Cheltenham, the distinguished scholar and TLS contributor, Edith Hall, will speak for the Greeks.
Birthplace of democracy, tragedy, philosophy, k.t.l. (as we say in Greek when we mean etcetera).
Need she say more? And I'm sure she will be clearer than the image of her book-cover that I've found - and can't quite improve.
Warfare, roads, aqueducts, the secret ballot et cetera (as we more normally say).
She will doubtless list much more. And her books on sale will have the title visible - unlike the closest image of it that I can find right now.
My Greek friend last night was appalled that we should even ask the question.
Obviously it was the Greeks.
The Thameside party was to celebrate a new list of the 1000 most influential people in London today.
'Influential', he spluttered.
We don't even know the meaning of the word.
The thousand people who've had most influence on London today were all Greeks.
Well, perhaps a very few Romans.
It's 'a point of view' - as we chairmen of events at literary festivals say when we have run out of polite excuses to move on.
If any reader of this blog is in the Cheltenham, area on Saturday morning, why not join us.