This week my article in BBC History Magazine hits the stands in the run up to the launch of my book From Democrats to Kings.
The article, entitled "Greece's Golden Century" examines why scholars have always been fascinated by the golden 5th century BC - the era of the Parthenon - and in doing so, what they have missed out on. I argue that the 4th century BC, the period from the fall of democratic Athens to the rise and fall of Alexander the Great - the period which I focus on in my book - is a hidden treasure trove which gives us unparalleled insights into the workings and make-up of the ancient Greek world. It is after all, when individuals, cities, countries and worlds are under most pressure that they often reveal their true colours - and the same is true for ancient Greece. It was in the 4th century, battling changing political, military and economic crises, at a time of increased globalisation and social anxiety, when the stakes were at their highest, and democracy was at its most threatened, that the Greeks really thought hard about what they had, what they wanted and how best to go about getting it. The resultant thinking, discoveries, actions and debates show the fascinating complexity and ingenuity of the ancients - and remind us, once again, just how much we owe of our own culture to them.
Check out my podcast for BBC History Magazine - where I talk about issues raised in the article, as well as about studying ancient worlds and about where to go and what to do in Greece, on the BBC History magazine website from 12th October!
Look out for my next blog on the launch event for From Democrats to Kings later this week!