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The past is not a foreign country

We read ancient books because they remind us of who we are, argues Salley Vickers

WHEN we read about the past - The Iliad, for example, as I've lately been doing - what do we hope to learn?

Not merely a knowledge of the military procedures of pre-Hellenic Greece, surely - although you certainly learn a good deal about archaic armour, battle strategy, ships, and the ancient arts of hospitality, in the process of reading. But we also learn a good deal of human psychology.

Some of that discovery might be novel. For example, Homer's heroes - ...

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Extending a ministry of welcome

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