Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient & Modern

Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient & Modern

Article excerpt

John Prescott probably thought he was being immensely clever and original in finding an excuse to spend a couple of weeks in the Caribbean doing almost nothing at the tax-payers' considerable expense. But, as usual, his behaviour is typical of people like him.

Aristophanes parodies the sort beautifully in his comedy Acharnians (425 BC ). The little farmer Dikaiopolis has come to the people's Assembly determined to do all he can to get a peace agreement with Sparta to end the war that had started six years earlier.

Instead, he has to endure endless irrelevancies, the first of which is the reception of a delegation reporting back from Persia. In they come, dressed in the latest Persian gear (Persia was famous for its fashions), explaining that they had set out 11 years ago, on double expenses, and had had a most dreadful time, being escorted in luxury carriages, forced to drink unmixed wine from gold and glass goblets (glass was a great rarity in Greece at the time), and being entertained in extravagant style throughout. Naturally they try to convince the Assembly that they have achieved a great deal, but Dikaiopolis reveals them for the frauds they are. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.