Petrovic interview

An interview with Andrej and Ivana Petrovic, authors of Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (Volume I: Early Greek Religion)

Thank you for talking to us about your book Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion, Andrej and Ivana. Can we start with the way you work together? You say a little in your introduction about how you work up your thoughts in tandem. It sounds like an exceptionally close form of co-authoring. Do tell … Read more

Paul Cartledge interview image

An interview with Paul Cartledge, author of Democracy: A Life

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Paul.

Can we start with your motivation for writing this book?  Was it your knowledge of the ancient world and Greece’s political systems, or concerns about the modern world?

A combination. I think I’m a kind of ‘natural’ democrat in the sense of being (an) anti-elitist egalitarian, but it wasn’t until I was a student first at the University of California and then Oxford that I got a chance to show my true democratic colours

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Author interview template

An interview with Marc Domingo Gygax, author of Benefaction and Rewards in the Ancient Greek City: The Origins of Euergetism

Today we are delighted to bring you the first in a series of interviews with this year’s shortlisted authors. Marc Domingo Gygax, author of Benefaction and Rewards in the Ancient Greek City: The Origins of Euergetism, took the time to answer our long list of questions. Thank you, Marc! Your book is entitled Benefaction and … Read more

An interview with Tim Whitmarsh, author of Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World

Tim Whitmarsh, author of shortlisted work Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World, kindly agreed to an interview.

The title of your book conveys less than it might. You say a lot about belief as well as disbelief: the nature of the ancient Greeks’ belief in their gods, and about their practice of religion, and about “putting the gods in their place”. Could you expand on the title for us in a few lines to convey this wider range?

Yes, it’s a book about both continuity and difference. That’s to say, there are aspects of ancient Greek atheism that are certainly very recognisable now: the centrality of the argument from evil, for example (how could a benevolent, omnipotent deity permit suffering?) But as you imply, the ancient Greco-Roman religious context was very different to anything we find in the modern world, and that does affect the forms in which atheism was expressed. Ancient religions were polytheistic, largely local, based in communal ritual rather than scripture; and priests had less of a hold over personal morality.

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An audio interview in Greek with Dimitris Papadimitriou, co-author of Prime Ministers in Greece: the Paradox of Power

Last week I met Dimitris Papadimitriou in Manchester, and much enjoyed a brief chat (along with a slice of lemon drizzle cake). My intention was to record a brief interview on my laptop, but we didn’t have time. Instead, we Skyped yesterday and I recorded the call. I’m afraid the result is technically imperfect, but … Read more