On the Spot: Paul Cartledge

What’s the most exciting field in history today? The history of political thought.

The Pnyx
The Pnyx plateau in Athens, with the Acropolis in the background. Photographed February 2021. Wiki Commons/George E. Koronaios.

Why are you a historian of Ancient Greece?

I knew from the age of eight that I loved Homer and wanted to be a historian.

What’s the most important lesson history has taught you?

That it’s historians who make history.

Which history book has had the greatest influence on you?

The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World (by the historian who’s most influenced me).

What book in your field should everyone read?

Gibbon’s Decline and Fall.

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