Greeks versus Romans: A Classics Debate
With Harry Eyres and Harry Mount
Chaired by Armand D'Angour
Wednesday 14th October
Cast your votes for the ultimate clash of civilisations - the Greeks versus the Romans. Join us for a fascinating evening as Harry Eyres makes the case for the Romans and Harry Mount champions the Greeks. Presiding over the debate is our chair Armand D’Angour.
Greece was the great miracle that created modern Europe, argues Harry Mount. For reasons that no one has quite nailed, this loose collection of city states moulded the future of Western civilisation. Architecture, sculpture, philosophy, comedy, tragedy.... They all flourished in the fizzing Petri dish of ancient Greece - largely, Mount argues, thanks to Greece's greatest invention - democracy. Rome is just a pale imitation of the genius of Greece.
Harry Eyres disagrees. Yes, Rome confessed a deep debt to Greece. But its expansion and elaboration of Greek ideas - in poetry, prose, architecture and philosophy - led to a far more sophisticated civilisation. Rome wasn't a dwarf on the shoulders of a giant; but an even greater giant, towering over its predecessor. Not only did Rome vanquish Greece, but it extended its tentacles way beyond Greece's ancient confines - across northern Africa, and right up into northern England and Wales. Modern Europe is Rome's Europe. Greece was quite an acorn, but it was nothing to Rome's mighty oak.
Join us as our expert panel passionately debate who has had the greatest lasting legacy on mythology, culture, architecture, religion and politics. Ultimately, you, the audience, will decide who prevails - Greece or Rome. Enjoy drinks with the speakers, buy their books and take part in the debate yourself.
Date: Wednesday 14th October
Time: Drinks from 6pm and talk from 6:30pm to 7.45pm
Place: Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP
Tickets: General admission £10 Students £6 Friends of the Bloomsbury Institute £7
Harry Eyres is a journalist, writer and poet. Previously a theatre critic and arts writer for The Times, the wine editor of Harpers & Queen, the wine columnist for The Spectator and Poetry Editor of The Daily Express he has most recently written the weekly "Slow Lane" column for the Financial Times, which celebrated the more enduring, often modest pleasures and pursuits of the truly well-lived life. Eyres is the author of Horace and Me: Life Lessons from an Ancient Poet, published by Bloomsbury, as well as Beginner’s Guide to Plato’s The Republic, several books on wine and a volume of poetry.
Harry Mount is the author of the top bestselling Amo, Amas, Amat and All That. A journalist for many newspapers and magazines, he studied Classics and Ancient and Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford. His latest book Odyssey - Ancient Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus is published by Bloomsbury and tells the story of ancient Greece through a 21st-century odyssey. He walks, swims and sails around a deeply troubled modern Greece, still defined by the mythology of its classical past.
Armand D’Angour is an Associate Professor in Classics at Oxford, and Fellow and Tutor at Jesus College. He has written on the language, literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome, and his book The Greeks and the New was nominated as a Spectator Book of the Year. He was commissioned to compose Odes in original Greek metre and dialect for the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2012, and his current research aims to reconstruct the sounds of ancient Greek music.