Paul Cartledge

Oedipus and the Sphinx by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1808 © Bridgeman Images.

The city of Thebes was central to the ancient Greeks’ achievements in politics and culture. For many centuries it has been largely – and often deliberately – forgotten.

Idealised portrait relief of Alexander the Great by Landolin Ohnmacht (1760-1834).

During the Enlightenment, Alexander the Great was reinvented as an esoteric ideal.

The Age of Pericles, after the painting, 1853, by Philipp Foltz

It comes in many forms and often disappoints, yet democracy has come to be regarded as the most desirable of all political systems. Paul Cartledge offers a guide to its roots in ancient Greece and reminds us of its long absence in the West.

Jacques-Louis David Leonidas at Thermopylae, 480 BC (1814), Louvre, Paris.

Paul Cartledge argues that all historiography can be seen as fictionalised and relishes the fact that novelists breathe new life into ancient worlds.

As a new translation of the writings of the ‘father of history’ is published, Paul Cartledge looks at the methods of enquiry that make the Greek master such a crucial influence on historians today.

Paul Cartledge visits the archive of History Today to retrieve a critical appraisal of the Greek proto-historian Herodotus by the inimitable Oxford don Russell Meiggs, first published in 1957.

Alexandria’s reputation as the intellectual powerhouse of the Classical world, fusing Greek, Egyptian and Roman culture, lives on, writes Paul Cartledge.

Paul Cartledge goes in search of the elusive personality of the world’s greatest hero.

Paul Cartledge sees ancient Spartan society and its fierce code of honour as something still relevant today.

Paul Cartledge explores the differences between today’s interpretation of the Olympic Games and their significance in the ancient world