Last night, we gathered at the Heffers bookshop on Trinity Street in Cambridge to raise a glass of wine to the launch of From Democrats to Kings. About 80+ people, including Prof Paul Cartledge, Prof Anthony Snograss, Master of Darwin Willy Brown and acclaimed writer Charles Freeman came to listen to me give a 15 min discussion of the book's aims, its highlights and its place in the continuing wider debate about the ancient world. My thanks to Heffers for helping organising a most enjoyable evening and to everyone for coming. It was a great pleasure in particular to see so many undergraduate students at the event - both those who I have lectured in the past (and whose questions helped in the thought processes for this book) and those who I will be lecturing later on this year.
Today, I have an article appearing in History Today magazine. This article looks specifically at how the period of turbulent change in the 4th centurt BC affected the position of women in ancient society. I argue that the stresses and strains of the century brought a good number of new opportunities for women, across the Greek world, to take on new and important roles, which foreshadowed their more habitual rise to power in the Hellenistic period (which ended with the most famous woman ruler of them all Cleopatra of Egypt). History Today is available in W H Smiths and other good newsagents now.
In the next couple of weeks, I will be taking From Democrats to Kings on the road, talking about the book to school children from the ages of 10-18 in schools from London to Nottingham. I cant wait to hear their questions which are often fantastically insightful! In my last school encounter, I was asked why Clytemnestra, instead of killing her husband, had not gone to a therapy counsellor? Why not indeed!