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Ancient Greece : Pericles (Part II)

Temple of Zeus at Nemea II small Boris Johnson has often spoken of his love of Greek history and of Pericles in particular. When asked who his historical pin-up was and why, he replied: “Pericles. Look at his Funeral Speech: democracy; freedom — champion stuff.” Read the full interview.

A few years ago he went to the British Museum and bought a bust of Pericles.

 

Meander pebble mosaic 500

 

The First Peloponnesian War : political developments

In 461 B.C., as Pericles became the most prominent Athenian politician, the diplomatic situation in Greece was deteriorating rapidly, owing in no small part to the ever expanding imperial ambition of Athens overseas ; within a year the occasional skirmish had become a war with Sparta.

Pericles - poly sb It should not be imagined that Pericles ran a government and could issue decrees, as does a British prime minister. One of ten elected generals, he influenced political life in Athens with persuasive oratory ; in theory the Assembly held the power (‘would like to be sovereign’ — Aristotle), so, where this article says that Pericles did something, it should be taken that he persuaded the Assembly to order him to do it.

Despite the war, political development continued a-pace. Many democratic reforms were instituted : Ephialtes had started the system of payment for members of the boule (Council), responsible for preparing the business on which the ecclesia (Assembly) would vote ; Pericles introduced pay for jurymen, which meant that eligible citizens could sit in judgment in the dicasteria (court) without loss of income.

He also extended the classes of citizen eligible to archonship, reducing and then abolishing the property qualification.

In 454 Pericles moved the treasury of tribute of the Athenian alliance (the Delian League), which, since the formation of the league at the end of the Persian wars in 478, had been held at the temple of Apollo on Delos, to Athens.In 451 he promoted a law that restricted Athenian citizenship to those both of whose parents themselves were citizens, a law much more restrictive than a similar one introduced by Solon a century-and-a-half earlier. (To-day we hear much of ‘unintended consequences’ of legislation ; this was a law whose unintended consequences would eventually prove fatal to Athens. Whereas, many years later, Rome would confer citizenship on all that completed service in her legions, securing the loyalty of volunteers from amongst the conquered, Athens, with her restrictive law of citizenship, would not be able to rely on this automatic growth of internal military support.)

The citizenship law did, however, help to ensure that, as the most eligible young men of Athens colonized the far reaches of empire, Athenian girls would not be left behind unwed : something that itself became more important just by virtue of this law !

In 449 the settlement of the perpetual conflict with Persia, under which the Ionian Greek settlements in Asia Minor were freed from Persian suzerainty and known as the Peace of Callias (although his involvement is disputed), motivated the Athenians — at the behest of Pericles — to rebuild the temples on their acropolis, left in ruins since 479.

In 446 Sparta and Athens hopefully concluded a Thirty-Year Peace Treaty ; the peace would last just half that time.

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The Building Programme of Pericles

As visible inheritance of Pericles we have the relics of his building programme.Following the destruction by the Persians of the temples atop the acropolis the Athenians had resolved to leave the ruins as a memorial ;  the conclusion of the peace of Callias (secured largely by Cimon, incidentally) was Pericles’s cue to propose the rebuilding of the temples, the centrepiece of which would be a magnificent temple to the virgin (parthenos) Athena, the Parthenon.

Parthenon under clouds

Athens received tribute from around her empire (the Delian League), funds supposedly for the defence of the realm ; however she appropriated a goodly portion of them (the cost of the Parthenon alone would be expressed in to-day’s money in billions) to the new building programme. The sheer extravagance of the project impelled Athens to expand her empire and to demand ever more in tribute, a fact that cannot be overlooked in assessing the causes of the Great Peloponnesian War (below).

Most of the Parthenon’s construction involved Pentelic marble, the work starting in 447 and taking fifteen years ; the famous frieze — the greater part of which constitutes the Elgin marbles on display now in the British Museum — took another four years. That and the chryselephantine statue of Athena were the work of the sculptor Pheidias, a friend of Pericles. Athena - Nashville small (Without entering in to the long running debate of where the marbles ought to be, we ought to mention that Lord Elgin himself bought them from the Ottoman governor of Athens — at such a cost that he fell in to penury — and, whether it were part of his intention or not, his doing so ensured their preservation to the present day.)

During the seventeenth-century conflict with Venice, the occupying Ottoman forces in Athens took refuge on the acropolis, using the Parthenon to house both their ammunition and their women and children. A mortar bomb launched by the besieging Venetians ignited the ammunition ; most of the temple itself and of the northern periptery (the colonnade) — which had withstood two millennia of intermittent earthquakes — was destroyed.  (In the photograph above the northern periptery has been largely restored.)

Temple of Poseidon small Theseum small

The building programme extended to much else within metropolitan Attica, including completion of the Long Walls and fortification of the Piraeus and Phalerum ; even the temple of Poseidon at Sounium.

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Read the continuing story of Pericles in Part III.

Ancient Greece : Pericles (Part I)

Boris Johnson has often spoken of his love of Greek history and of Pericles in particular.

When asked who his historical pin-up was and why, he replied: “Pericles. Look at his Funeral Speech: democracy; freedom — champion stuff.” See here for the full interview.

A few years ago he went to the British Museum and bought a bust of Pericles and here is his story.

The Age of Pericles

The words `fifth-century Athens’ conjure up many things : fine art ; the birth of the western world’s theatre ; war (rarely was there not conflict in the ancient world, particularly in Greece) ; literature. In the field of politics, however, Pericles is the name that comes to mind : he dominated political life for three decades and his influence continued to be felt for a quarter-century after his death ; his legacy to politics survives to this day.  He is the third of our contenders for the title `Father of Democracy’.

Pericles — whose name may be loosely translated as ‘all glorious’ — was born around 495 in the Attic deme of Cholargos (about 4 miles NW of the Athenian acropolis), the son of gentle folk :  Xanthippus (who had distinguished himself at Mycale, one of the battles that in 479 brought Persian domination of the eastern Mediterranean to and end) and Agariste of the ever controversial Alcmaeonid line.

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Sparta and the helot uprising

Even a brief description of the life of Pericles cannot begin without reference to his political rival Cimon — aristocratic son of the victor at Marathon, Miltiades — whose successful military ventures in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and across the northern Aegean between 478 and 463 B.C. laid the foundations of the Athenian naval empire that would later help to fund the democratic reforms introduced by Ephialtes and Pericles, not to mention the latter’s building programme.

The great rival of Athens was the polis (city-state) of Sparta, which led the Peloponnese League ; Sparta — whose political system, in contrast to the new democracy in Athens, was an oligarchy — had a particular problem with the major part of her population, the helots. (Helots were akin mediaeval serfs.)Unlike the slaves of Athens (and later of Rome), who had been brought from all parts of the world and had no common language, Sparta’s helots were largely from the conquered neighbouring land of Messenia : they were Greeks, with much — including language — in common ; there was ever present the threat of rebellion.   Treehelm
Sparta’s peculiar form of government — which puzzled many even in ancient times — set her apart from most of Greece, including many of the poleis within the League : the adoption by many cities, including Athens, of forms of democracy and even tyranny left conflict simmering just below the surface.In around 464, Sparta’s helots, encouraged by the chaos resulting from a severe earthquake, rebelled and within months she called upon her allies for assistance. Cimon, prominent in Athenian politics but sympathetic to the Spartan cause, led an Athenian hoplite force to her aid. The Athenian soldiers, however, cannot have failed to remark that the rebel helots were fellow Greeks under oppression : the Spartans, realizing that here was a potential ally of their own rebels, sent Cimon back to Athens.The Athenians responded to this Spartan insult by forming alliances with Sparta’s enemies and allies alike. Athens and Corinth had hitherto had in common animosity toward Megara, which lay between them ; Athens’ forming an alliance with Megara now propelled Corinth in to the Spartan camp. By 460 the situation had turned to war.
Click on map to enlarge
Click on map to enlarge

Continue reading Ancient Greece : Pericles (Part I)

Our Rich Literary History

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
Samuel Johnson

Boswell and Johnson were discussing whether or not Boswell’s affection for London would wear thin should he choose to live there, as opposed to the zest he felt on his occasional visits. (Boswell lived in Scotland, and visited only periodically. Some people are surprised to learn that Boswell and Johnson were far from inseparable over the last twenty years of Johnson’s life, the period Boswell knew him.)

This discussion happened on September 20, 1777, and Johnson, someone who hated to spend time alone, was always going out and enjoying what London had to offer.

Now Boris Johnson as Mayor has been promoting historical events in the capital such as:

Trafalgar Square a brief history  

History Brought to Life weekend

Black History Season

 

Not to be outdone, Gotham Girl takes a cross-disciplinary approach with both fiction and non-fiction highlighting some interesting historical and cultural comparisons between London and New York 

  

I’ve recently been re-reading “Here Is New York” an essay by E.B. White (which I cannot recommend highly enough). It’s a 55-page– well, love letter of sorts – written during the summer of 1949 and is considered by many (including me) to be one of the ten best books ever written about the city. I’m not sure what the London equivalent would be… Peter Ackroyd’s London: A Biography maybe? Much bigger than White’s piece and not so much a love letter as it is a collection of love letters. What do you all think?

I’m not suggesting that a single book could do justice to the sweeping scope that is London. Nor do I suggest that White’s piece is, by any means, a complete portrait of New York. You’d need a large bookcase of books to embody a subject as multi-layered and robust as London or New York. More likely, you’d need a whole library.

Luckily, I have plenty of shelf space because I “travel” to London and through New York via books quite a lot and it is travel almost without limits. You can get to know either city by getting to know about the people who left their mark centuries ago or who are leaving their mark now. You can examine the buildings and monuments that dot the city landscapes as well as those that have disappeared. You can read about the industries and social movements that drive the cities through cycles of growth and ruin. Books are, in this way, a handy-sized sort of TARDIS.

Do not think, however, that you must limit yourself to non-fiction when going on these page-turning adventures. Not at all. I read my share of non-fiction and I have a special fondness for biography but fiction can also provide views and (often unexpected) insights into the current and historical worlds of London and New York.

Continue reading Our Rich Literary History

School Discipline

The real victims in all this are not just the teachers. They are the other kids whose education is being wrecked by a minority of badly behaved children

All we need is the politicians to have the guts to take on the bullying parents, the supine education authorities, and the crazed culture of health and safety

Teachers need the law on their side
We need a politician with the guts to stand up for reasonable discipline in our schools, argues Boris Johnson
 

Let’s be clear. I am not calling for the return of the cane. I do not want to bring back the great British thrashing. It seems amazing that in our lifetimes otherwise humane teachers would roll up their sleeves, flex the Malacca and – with or without a pervy Terry-Thomas glint in the eye – administer violent corporal punishment to the children they were supposed to be instructing. Follow fundingwaschools for more information.

My memory of an otherwise idyllic 1970s English prep school is that masters used virtually any weapon of discipline they could lay their hands on. There was the blackboard rubber, a heavy chalky object that teachers would hurl with great force if they saw you staring vacantly during maths. There was the ruler, which could be brought down so hard on the back of the hand that a friend of mine had a contusion that lasted for years. There was the jokari bat, for those who forgot their construe. There was the cricket bat for seriously argumentative types and also, I kid you not, the handle of a nine iron golf club. And then there was the cane. I remember being so enraged at being whacked for talking at the wrong moment that it has probably given me a lifelong distrust of authority.

Ancient Greece: The Archaic Age

Temple of Zeus at Nemea
The Temple of Zeus at Nemea

Boris Johnson has spoken of the contribution a knowledge of the classics can make to understanding our own times. In the modern political world — as in the ancient — the same theme is played out again and again … with the same characters : political leaders that let power go to their heads and then pay the price (although that price is oft paid in larger measure by those they lead). It’s not all bad news, however, for Greek history is also full of inspirational stories.

Over the next few weeks we shall post a series of small articles on the ancient Greek world, a phase of human history from which we can still learn.

For other posts in the series see the Index.

The Politics of Ancient Athens

We do not know what brought about the collapse of the Greek civilization known as the Mycenaean Palace culture in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1200 b.c.) The written record we have of that civilization consists almost entirely of accounting documents, baked clay tablets, in the Linear-B script.

There follows a period (of which our knowledge is limited to myth) usually referred to as the Dark Age, lasting till the adoption by the Greeks of an alphabet at some time in the eighth century. From then to the start of the Classical period we know as the Archaic Period, when the social structure was an aristocratic monarchy.

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From monarchy to tyranny


HopliteFollowing the fall of the last sovereign king of the Athenians (Codrus), the aristocrats (known as Eupatrids (of good birth) abolished the ruling status of basileus (king) and vested the equivalent power in, at first, three officials, known collectively as the archontes (archons) : a polemarch (pronounced ‘Polla-mark’ – war-lord), a king (whose duties now pertained mainly to religious matters, i.e. pacifying the gods) and the archon himself. This last was the civic leader, equivalent to an executive president of to-day.

The noble families now exercised a measure of control over the archonship until in the early-seventh century a major change to the appointment meant that it became an annual office ; henceforth the Athenians named each year after its archon.

Noble families vied with one another in what to-day we should describe as vulgar ostentation ; their differing views on matters social and political would lead to disorder, even brawling in the streets.

This combination of faction and social competition eventually led to tyranny — the Greek word tyrannos is derived from an Asian one referring to a usurper — in which one nobleman, possibly a military leader, would persuade the now well armed hoplite population to support him as ruler. ‘In short, tyrants helped to stop spiralling ambition and faction by an ultimate act of ambitious faction : their own coup.’ (Further reading: The Classical World, Lane Fox)

It should not be assumed that tyrannical rule was autocratic, at least not at first : a tyrant would take over to establish eunomia (good order), something achieved by laying down and enforcing laws that, for whatever reason, would be observed.

Tyrants, however, saw their positions as heritable ; inevitably their heirs were not as good as they and the subject populace soon became even more disgruntled than under the previous, aristocratic, régime.

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The law-givers


In a simplified way we might say that the period of the tyrants was followed by the period of the law-givers. Toward the end of the seventh century factional fighting in Athens, following an unsuccessful coup, led to the introduction by the nobleman Draco of written laws : they were harsh — hence our word ‘draconian’ — but fair and, because displayed for all to see, certain. (Those, the majority, that could not read would have been able to find others to read to them.)

Early in the sixth century, after ‘consulting the people’, Solon — the man now famous for having given Athens her first ‘constitution’ and one of the contenders for the title ‘Father of Democracy’ — handed down a far more detailed set of regulations governing most of civic life.

Under Solon wealth, rather than birth, decided eligibility for government office : a timocracy. He divided the Attic population in to four property classes, according to their income (actually to how much they might produce) : the pentacosiomedimni, hippeis, zeugitae and thetes.

See this video clip on the great thinker Solon

Continue reading Ancient Greece: The Archaic Age

Ancient Greece :  Ostracism

 

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An ostrakon
with the name and patronymic (indicating his father) of the nominee,
Cimon, son of Miltiades

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To-day the term ‘ostracism’ is often used loosely to allude to exclusion from a social group :  what school-children might call ‘sending some-one to Coventry’ ;  it is, however, a specific procedure with origin in ancient Athens.

Ostracism was aimed at curbing the ambitions of any-one that might aspire to the seizure of power in Athens.  Although traditionally described as one of the reforms of Cleisthenes, ca. 508 (unless otherwise stated or implied by the context, all dates are b.c.), it was not used till 487 and many scholars now doubt this ascription ;  it fell in to disuse around 417.

It was a process whereby, once a year, one Athenian — usually a politician or a general — might be banished from Attica for ten years (but without loss of property).

First, at a time we’d think of as late January, the Assembly would be asked whether it would hold an ostracism in that year.  If so, the vote itself would take place a month later, giving time for word to reach the demes — the rural communities around Attica — that an ostracism was to be held and for citizens to arrange to be there for the vote, a quorum being 6,000.

A citizen would write the name of him he would have ostracized on a sherd of pottery (ostrakon, plural ostraka) ;  although the average Athenian would have been illiterate, he would have been able either to have another inscribe for him or to collect one of many ostraka that had been inscribed in advance, each in the name of a particular ‘candidate’.  (Many surviving sherds are clearly crafted by few hands ;  this should not be taken as a sign of corruption :  literacy was rare and it was normal for people — likely hoping to promote a particular candidate’s ostracism — to prepare sherds for the use of any-one that might want — or be persuaded — to vote against him.)

When all the sherds had been collected and counted, he whose name had appeared on the most ostraka would be banished.

 

Potsherd - Themistocles smaller

An ostrakon
nominating Themistocles (son of Neocles)

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Arts and Culture in the Metropolis

Tower of London
Tower of London

The Mayor’s Priorities for Culture 2009-12.  See the document here for his vision on maintaining London’s position as a world centre of cultural excellence.

For an another viewpoint let’s turn to Gotham Girl’s analysis of transatlantic museum visiting.

The British Museum wallops the Met in ancient civilizations

The Elgin Marbles – that is a proper test of wills

The Tate Modern is notably NOT just a storage space 

I love museums. I live only a short walk from Museum Mile here in Manhattan so museums figure prominently in my leisure schedule at home as well as abroad.

Few places in New York offer better “people watching” than the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met for short). Few places in New York offer more beautiful views than the roof of the Met.

I don’t think the front of the British Museum offers quite the same experience.

great_hall Met
Metroplitan Museum of Art

At the Met, I can curl up with a book in Engelhard Court. I frequently head to the Temple of Dendur to visit with friends. We can – and do – even enjoy lunch or drinks now that they’ve reclaimed the first floor for the Greek and Roman galleries and the eateries have had to move downstairs. This move hasn’t done much for the Greek and Roman collections but it has improved the “grab a bite of lunch” experience at the Met tenfold.

Still, museums are, on many levels, the sum of the collections and much as I love the Met as a whole, certain galleries don’t fare very well when compared to their British Museum counterparts. The British Museum wallops the Met in ancient civilizations. The Greek and Roman collection of the Met is a bit “meh” – well, a lot “meh.” The Temple of Dendur, aside, their Egyptian collection isn’t much better and is displayed abysmally. As for controversial artifacts – the Met pales in comparison. Sure, Turkey went after the Metropolitan about the Lydian Horde but the Met returned it so – in a mere six or so years – that was that. The Elgin Marbles – that is a proper test of wills. Impressive.  Oh and here’s a handy tip – don’t make remarks on how “liberated” the marbles look within earshot of guards. Goodness, how that man glared. Still, it wasn’t as bad as the time at Westminster Abbey when I stomped on Thomas Hardy’s name in Poet’s Corner. Still, that’s another story for another time (and in my defense I think MOST people would like to stomp on Thomas Hardy).

Continue reading Arts and Culture in the Metropolis

Ancient Greece : Themistocles

(Original of August 26, 2009, revised November 16 by ‘The Other Pericles’)

Boris Johnson has spoken of the contribution a knowledge of the classics can make to understanding our own times. In the modern political world — as in the ancient — the same theme is played out again and again … with the same characters : political leaders that let power go to their heads and then pay the price (although that price is oft paid in larger measure by those they lead). It’s not all bad news, however, for Greek history is also full of inspirational stories.

Over the next few weeks we shall post a series of small articles on the ancient Greek world, a phase of human history from which we can still learn.

For other posts in the series see the Index.

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The fleet of triremes

Themistocles was an Athenian general and politician, who had fought at the Battle of Marathon in 490 (unless otherwise stated or implied by the context, all dates are b.c.). Unlike most leaders of his day, he was not of noble birth but drew his support from the lower classes. Realizing that, if the Persians attacked Athens again by land, they would be practically insuperable, he resolved to defeat them by sea and persuaded the Athenians to build a fleet of triremes.

Designed for close combat and constructed from soft woods — mainly pine and fir (the latter being preferred for its lightness) with larch and plane used for interior parts — the trireme had the advantages (over the Persian ships from the Levant) of speed and manoeuvrability.

A common tactic was for the trireme to brush along the side of a bigger ship, snapping off that vessel’s oars and rendering her immobile. A trireme could ram an enemy ship like a guided missile but was expensive to build. In 484, however, a vast amount of silver was discovered in the mines at Laurium. This would normally have been divided equally amongst all Athenian citizens, as indeed advocated by Aristides, but Themistocles wanted the money to build his navy.

To tell the Athenians bluntly that this fleet was needed to repel the Persians would have caused undue disquiet ; Themistocles therefore dissembled : he played a complex bluff -– saying that the ships should be built to defend against their local rival, the small island of Aegina, rather than the Persians. It was a mark of his skill as a politician that he persuaded the Athenians to build the greatest naval force in Greece.

Xerxes plans revenge

King Darius of Persia had died ; his son Xerxes, who had vowed to avenge the Persian defeat at Marathon, assembled a mighty army, rumoured to number two million men (Herodotus reported 1.7-million ; recent scholars suggest a figure closer to 200,000 ; an overwhelming force none the less). In 480 news reached Athens that the Persian army was marching on Athens. Terrified Athenians turned for advice to the Oracle at Delphi.

The message from Apollo was not encouraging : the battle “would bring death to women’s sons” ; only “the wooden wall” would save the Athenians.

Amid increasing desperation in Athens, as the Persians rampaged across Thessaly, burning, looting and generally laying waste, Themistocles alone stayed calm, arguing that the “wooden wall” signified the wooden sides of his fleet of triremes ; the population should leave Attica and leave defeat of the Persians to the navy.

This seemed a perilous course ; it certainly demanded courage and a good deal of trust from every citizen : aware of the superiority of the Persian land forces, they were to abandon their homes with the object of drawing the enemy in to a naval encounter.

The Persian army duly advanced in to Attica and overran Athens, destroying the temples on the acropolis and killing any remaining defenders.

Themistocles’s plan

Meanwhile the fleet of the Persian king, Xerxes — at perhaps 1,200 vessels almost thrice that of Athens — was stationed in the Bay of Phaleron (sc. off the Piraeus, the port of Athens).

It might be mere fable, perhaps even of Themistocles’s own devising, or one conjured up by Herodotus but a story grew up that Themistocles had sent a servant to the Persian commanders to feed them false intelligence ; they were taken in and immediately sent their warships into the strait of Salamis, the perfect place for an ambush.

There the Athenian navy lay in wait : when the ungainly Persian warships entered the channel, the Greek triremes inflicted a memorable defeat upon them, some 200 enemy ships being destroyed. The Persian navy broken, Xerxes, who had been watching proceedings from a throne overlooking the sea, fled. The Greeks had won a stunning victory against the odds.

Themistocles is rejected

In ca. 471 the people turned on Themistocles. Despite all he had done for Athens, he was now unpopular, perceived as arrogant and even suspected of taking bribes. His response — reminding his fellow citizens of all they owed him — served only to aggravate them and he was ostracized.

Potsherd - Themistocles smaller
An ostrakon
bearing the name of Themistocles

He went first to Argos but, when he learnt of the Spartans’ wanting to pursue him over a matter of their own, he fled to Asia Minor, eventually entering the service of the Persian King Artaxerxes and being made governor of three satrapies. He lived there much honoured by the King, dying in ca. 459. (His death is ascribed by Plutarch, writing in the late-first century a.d. — so, nearly six-hundred years later — to suicide but by Thucydides, a meticulous historiographer writing in the same century, to natural causes.)

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Exam Grade Inflation

great exam resultsCalling all conservatives! Attention please, all you reactionaries and nostalgia-merchants, and anyone who thinks the past knocks spots off the present. This is the season of exam results, when the papers are full of happy backlit pictures of girls in summer dresses receiving the news of their Stakhanovite performances at A-level and GCSE.

This is the week when dyspeptic Right-wing columnists and politicians traditionally denounce these scenes as a sham, when lovely hard-working teenagers run crying from the room because some miserable old git has told them that an A-grade these days isn’t worth a pitcher of warm spit.

The question before us is whether or not humans are capable of stunning improvements in individual and collective performance.

When Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in 1954, he was thought to be a prodigy. Now, more than a thousand men have pulled off the same feat.

If our physical faculties are capable of such rapid improvement, surely the same applies to our brains. Faster, higher, stronger. Why not cleverer?

Continue reading Exam Grade Inflation

Celebrating first year as Mayor

“Happy Birthday, Boris!” hails this week’s Spectator.  It has been a remarkable first year as Mayor of London including everything from ping pong to knife crime, transport to education and hard work to fun as the Spectator‘s Mary Wakefield found out.

Mary writes: “I met Boris Johnson in his office in City Hall overlooking the Thames and Tower Bridge. Our former editor seemed a more thoughtful and sensible character than the man who used to practise cycling with no hands down Doughty Street at lunchtime, but there were signs of the old Boris tucked around his mayoral office: ping pong bats (the Mayor likes to unwind by trying and failing to beat his personal assistant, Ann Sindall); a book of love poems by the late Woodrow Wyatt; a bust of Pericles in the corner, looking out over this 21st-century Athens. Continue reading Celebrating first year as Mayor