How do you evaluate legacy cultures? Intelligence Squared organized this fascinating debate about the relative contributions of ancient Greece and Rome, held at Westminster’s Central Hall last November. The debaters are almost as interesting as their subject. Boris Johnson, the colorful outgoing mayor of London and a possible future prime minister of the United Kingdom, makes the case for Greece. Mary Beard, professor of classics at Cambridge and the engaging host of numerous TV documentaries, counters that the Roman heritage is more relevant to today’s world. Both call on actors Max Bennett and Niamh Cusack to read passages from ancient authors to bolster their arguments.
The organizers polled the audience about their preference for either Greece or Rome, and then polled them again to see who was more successful at changing people’s minds. Who won? That would be telling, wouldn’t it. Watch the video. It’s long, and maybe best digested in pieces, but worth it. Not all primary votes take place in the USA. 🙂