In Roman times, when the streets were even more crowded, Caesar decreed that all vehicles (except those involved in building work) were banned from the City, while Nero took advantage of a major fire to broaden the streets to improve access. Whatever the problem, from the leader whose deputy wants to replace him to the question of how to make democracy really work, you can guarantee that our Classical forebears faced the same situation and came up with some far more effective solutions than our current politicians.
Enthralling, informative and hugely entertaining, Peter Jones, one of the UK's leading Classicists, highlights just how much we have to learn from the past and how things really were once so much better.
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- Mary Carnegie
Grumpy old classicist!
I found this book amusing, probably mostly because of Bill Wallis's performance, and maybe, too, because the passage of time has eroded some of the scathing comments about some public figures for whom I have some respect!
There are lots of anecdotes and quotations about life, the universe and everything - no, it's not THAT Peter Jones - in Ancient Greece and Rome comparing their methods of dealing with human problems that, perhaps unsurprisingly have not changed that much.
Unfortunately, no matter how well he thinks old Athens managed things, it's hard to extrapolate their political organisation to 21st century life. The history of Italy might warn us that the city-state isn't that viable a polity; except perhaps the Vatican!
He really is a crusty old new atheist of right wing Conservative stamp, but he does have a good line in badmouthing almost everyone. I had to chuckle.
1 person found this helpful
Live and learn
So much about our way of life, even in this "Modern" Age originates in either ancient Greece or Rome. Peter Jones compares and contrasts how they lived to patterns of life in UK today; generally, it is the Ancients who seem to have a better or more sensible or logical way of life.
Well read and most enjoyable. One can only hope that this becomes required reading for all politicians and anyone aspiring to public office.
I found this to be a selection of rants, rather than anything well thought out or insightful. I've only listened to half of it and won't waste my time on the rest. Wish I had of saved my money!
2 people found this helpful