Classics in modern political speech


Just a quick thought that arose when my attention was drawn to this rather embarrassing article/interview about ancient Democracy and why, in the academic’s opinion, places like Egypt don’t have one (basically) read here.  Have a read of it, it is only short, but more importantly have a read of the comments below; especially the, rather blunt, rebuttal from scholar Professor Walter Scheidel from Stanford University.

What struck me is that in a period of foreign political turmoil, the rhetoric within the media is happy to invoke flawed Classical comparisons, but at a time of British austerity measures they seem disinclined to attach the most common Classical label that fits with austere – Spartan.  But then I suppose it would not bode as well to tell the public they will be forced to live an austere and Spartan lifestyle, it sounds rather severe!  Anyway, just a quick thought.

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