The Mayor Lists the Top 10 Greeks

Via the Daily Mail, we find Boris Johnson–Conservative mayor of London, gadfly, and historian–offering his list of the 10 greatest ancient Greeks: Homer to Plato: Boris Johnson on the ten greatest ancient Greeks.

Boris Johnson contemplates an earlier mayor...

I would decry our obsession with “Top” lists, prone as they are to elide complex questions of worth. But nah, I love’em! ¬†They do make great conversation pieces. (Simonides over Euripides? No Demosthenes? ?????!) And of course a lover of antiquity has to admit that the interest in listing and ranking is by no means a modern development. Perhaps the first of the “top” lists was the Canon of authors that scholars during the Hellenistic period deemed worthy of study and commentary. Today we have entire websites devoted to nothing but lists, they had the Nine Lyric Poets.

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