Please, please, please, please help me! I recently got into an argument with a friend of mine regarding the achievements, and subsequent influence, of the ancient empires/civilisations of the Greeks versus the Romans. I know, that old chestnut! Anyway, my friend, as it turned out, was a die hard Roman fan, where as I have always been a champion of the Greeks - much like Odysseus! (Ha ha!) But seriously, my friend won’t listen to reason and just keeps banging on about “straight roads” like that’s the most important thing that ever happened in the world! I know that the ancient Greeks did so much more, but unfortunately I just can’t get my misguided fool of a friend to see the light. I was hoping you could help me convince this buffoon otherwise.
Yours hopefully, Telemachus Jones
Telemachus, it would be my pleasure! After all, nobody wants to have a buffoon for a friend! And besides, you are indeed correct - the Greeks were a far superior ancient civilisation to the Romans. And here’s my top 5 reasons why…
1. Democracy! The ancient Greeks invented the concept of representative government! And now, thanks to them, once every four years we’re all allowed to put a tick in a box! Hurrah!
2. Vowels! Until the Greeks came along the alphabet consisted only of consonants! Can you imagine what episodes of Countdown would have looked like if they hadn’t fixed that? Answer: Cntdwn!
3. Olympics! Possibly the ancient Greeks’ most enduring legacy. The first Olympics were held in 776 BC in Olympia and were estimated to have cost less than £1000 to stage in real terms. The next Olympics in 2012 will be held in London and most certainly wont! Remarkable!
4. Theatre! The ancient Greeks are responsible for giving us the wonderful world of theatre! And who doesn’t love theatre! I mean, everyone goes to the theatre, right?
5. Philosophy! You know when you’re bored, or don’t have anything to do, so you just sit around and think about stuff. Well, it was the ancient Greeks that invented that! And they called it philosophy!
So there you go Telemachus, my top 5 reasons why the ancient Greeks were better than the Romans! And if they’re still not enough reason to get your misguided friend to change his mind, then be sure to show him this mythical Greek sci-fi beauty to help him see the error of his ways - it’s the Odysseus inspired 1980’s Franco-Japanese anime series Ulysses 31…
See what I mean? Can’t remember seeing a smash hit cult kids cartoon based on the adventures of Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus! Although, with a name that long, that’s probably no real surprise! All the best, Telemachus!