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Join Boris Johnson, Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Mary Beard, professor of classics at the University of Cambridge, as they debate the significance of the world’s most timeless civilizations: Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Mr. Johnson defends the culture, art, and philosophy of Ancient Greece, while Dr. Beard argues for the supremacy of Roman law, literature, and influence. In the debate, originally hosted by Intelligence Squared, Mr. Johnson weighs the brutality of the Roman government and society against the democratic and flourishing city-state of Athens, while Dr. Beard reminds the audience of the imperialism of the Athenians in The Melian Dialogue and their tyranny and corruption in the trial of Socrates. With which do you side: the city that was the birthplace of democracy and the home of the legacies of Homer, Plato, and Sophocles; or the Eternal City with its rich tradition of Virgil, Cicero, Plutarch, and the Triumvirates?

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We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an on-line journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude and prayer.

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Published: Jul 14, 2017
Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (born 1964) is a British politician, popular historian, author, and journalist. He has been Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since July 2016 and has served as a Member of Parliament since 2015. He previously served as Mayor of London. A member of the Conservative Party, Mr. Johnson was a leader of the Brexit movement that led to Britain's withdrawal from the European Union and was viewed and is seen as a viable replacement as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister in the wake of the 2017 General Election results.
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2 replies to this post
  1. Neither side has perfection, if that’s possible, both sides have much to say in their favor. Is that elusive enough for you? It certainly is for me. I do wonder what kind of audiences we would have were these two combatants Americans, or do such exist as such. Perhaps I’ve missed it. The classical age is forever tempting us in its richness, always beckoning us to follow it, always teaching and surprising us, so be it.

  2. ‘Greece or Rome?’ Both. Ultimately the Roman Empire incorporated Greek Philosophy, art and music and added Hebrew Theology in subjecting itself to Christ. New Rome was founded on the shores of the Bosphorus and the Christian Greco-Roman Empire endured for around 1000 years.

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