The Reconversion of the Hagia Sophia

Heaven on Earth “And we went into the Greek lands, and we were led into a place where they serve their God, and we did not know where we were, on heaven or on earth; and do not know how to tell about this. All we know is that God lives there with people and…

Historical Impressions II

History as Religion In a secular age that is bereft of the overwhelming, sweeping influence of religion, a gap is left behind that needs filling. Whilst the overthrow of religion is a necessary evil for the sake of a liberal, scientific, democratic society, it nonetheless deprives us of a many numinous needs. And I’m not…

Historical Impressions

The Persian Wars “He asked, ‘Croesus, who told you to attack my land and meet me as an enemy instead of a friend?’ The King replied, ‘It was caused by your good fate and my bad fate. It was the fault of the Greek gods, who with their arrogance, encouraged me to march onto your…

Bonfire of the Vanities 2.0

On the Horrors of Cancel Culture, Past, Present and Future “Terror is nothing else than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible.”             Maximilien de Robespierre, author of The Terror in Revolutionary France, late 18th century. Is it just me or does the quote feel frighteningly relevant?             Terror in the name of justice. Prompt and severe, and,…

Misogyny Is Winning the Art War

This morning, like most people, I woke up with headlines of the news of Sarah Everard’s tragedy, which I don’t need to delve into as most of you already know the story.             What struck me most – apart from the obvious horrors of it – is the photograph that is doing the rounds (gone…

Should Children Be Taught Classics

Whenever we think of classics in school we always get an impression of stuffiness. Of old school masters in tweed jackets using canes to hit inattentive children and forcing them to learn old, dead languages. Another word instantly comes to mind when we think of classics: hard. Learning ancient Greek and Latin is hard.            …

My Thoughts on Quarantine

It is a strange privilege to be involved in history in such a direct way. My contracting COVID in 2021 feels the equivalent of being hit by shrapnel during WWII or being a slave in classical Athens. This pandemic will come to define our age. We don’t know how yet. History takes time to make…

The Classic and the Contemporary II

Fatima, Jordan Casteel, 2018 Is it possible to be a successful, mainstream artist in the 21st century without being socially engaged? Has art moved on from being a source of pleasure and become an act of social engagement? Is this a good thing?             These are some of the thoughts that came to my mind…

You Want a Role Model, Here’s Mary Beard

I am the least woke person you’re ever likely to meet. I find the era of ‘rights’ we live in tiring, jaded and leaning towards the dictatorial. And it’s such a shame because rights are, of course, the fundamentals of 21st century Western civilisation. They are ideas we inherited, in very raw form, from our…

The Classic and the Contemporary

Przemek Pyszczek The Polish artist Przemek Pyszczek is a young, upcoming artist on the contemporary art scene. His work merges painting and sculpture on a singular continuum. He studied architecture and most of his pieces are installations; colourful structures inspired by his homeland and memories. Pyszczek says he is influenced by “observing the physical world…