Festival of the Future City

Bettany Hughes and Edith Hall: Cities and Ideas in the Ancient World

Bettany Hughes and Edith Hall: Cities and Ideas in the Ancient World

There's much we can learn about how cities should and should not work from the cities of the ancient world especially Greece and Rome. Classicist Edith Hall, author of Introducing the Ancient Greeks, and Bettany Hughes, broadcaster and author of The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life and a forthcoming history of Istanbul, discuss ancient cities, their ideas and what they can offer us now.

Speaker biographies:

Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster. Her first book, Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore, has been translated into ten languages. Her second, The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life was a New York Times bestseller and was short-listed for the Writer's Guild Award. She has written and presented over 40 TV and radio documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, PBS, The History Channel, National Geographic and ITV. In 2013, she co-produced a seven-part global documentary series about the shared roots of Eastern and Western culture. This year she will be making a 15-part series on the history of ideas for the BBC and is also writing a new history of Istanbul.

Edith Hall is Professor in the Department of Classics and Centre for Hellenic Studies at King's College London and Chairman of the Gilbert Murray Trust. Her research interests cover ancient Greek literature, thought, politics and culture and their reception in modern times. She has published over 20 books, most recently Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind (2014). She appears regularly on BBC Radio and TV, has acted as consultant to numerous professional theatres including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, and writes in Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, The Times, and New York Review of Books.