Glossy Abelard and Heloise

Ideas and stories have always competed for longevity, prestige and popularity. Like seeds, some fall on the side of the road to die before they can germinate; others germinate but don’t grow; others grow and change the landscape completely. To judge from the story of Abelard and Heloise, it seems that the academic journal will … Continue reading Glossy Abelard and Heloise

The agonia matrix

What strikes me about the ancient Mediterranean world is that it was competitive, adversarial, agonistic. The myths that ancient people told themselves were about groups vying for prizes of all sorts, women, cities, glory. Not even the gods could escape the competition framework. Rather than being apathetic, Lucretian deities removed from the world of the … Continue reading The agonia matrix

‘By the lawful judgement of his peers’: to be a juror

No free man shall be seized, imprisoned, dispossessed, outlawed, exiled or ruined in any way, nor in any way proceeded against, except by the lawful judgement of his peers and the law of the land. Magna Carta, clause 39 Over the last two weeks, I’ve been sitting as a juror in a criminal trial in … Continue reading ‘By the lawful judgement of his peers’: to be a juror