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2011

Boris Johnson praises Classics at King's

London Mayor Boris Johnson visited King’s in June to highlight the importance of classical education and to praise King’s students for helping to bring Latin to primary schools.

In a passionate and good humoured address delivered as the Department of Education & Professional Studies’ Annual Education Lecture, Johnson said the lessons of the Classical World have value in the 21st century – not just for academics but also for politicians and policymakers. He said western leaders ‘should have read about the experiences of Roman armies in Mesopotamia’ before committing forces to military operations in the Middle East during the past decade.

Johnson said a cadre of ‘Classical guerrillas’ are determined to return the Classics to primary and secondary classrooms. Among their initiatives is the Iris Project, an educational charity that sends university students into disadvantaged schools to teach Latin. Forty students from King’s have participated in the programme during the past four years.

‘My message to you tonight is we’ve got to step up the fight,’ he said. ‘The barbarian hordes are all around us.’

He then took time to speak to us about how he sees King’s leading the way in this initiative, as well as his thoughts on the role of a universities in solving the world’s problems and how he sees King’s research directly improving the quality of life in London and beyond.

Related links:

>> The Iris Project

>> Department of Classics

>> Mayor of London
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