Classical Society Mr Robin Lane Fox on Alexander the Great

The Classical Society was privileged to welcome the eminent classicist and ancient historian Robin Lane Fox OE, an expert on Alexander the Great who was the historical advisor to Oliver Stone’s 2005 film. His title was “How to rule the world by the age of 25”, and he went about addressing this point by examining Alexander’s character and searching for Etonian qualities, or lack thereof. We were thereby able to determine, in a highly entertaining matter, that Alexander had only a few Etonian characteristics, and pinpointed the flaws in our education which would stop us from succeeding in following in his footsteps.

With a memorable and unique style of speaking, filled with anecdotes, jokes and extended analogies, Lane Fox gave us a new insight into Alexander’s psychology. The conclusions were that we should not listen to our tutors, Geography is an impediment, sobriety is positively dangerous and a flamboyant love life is a prerequisite. Light-hearted, clever and hilarious, the talk was clearly guided by a lifetime of expert knowledge which allowed Mr Lane Fox the agility to look past the facts and into the soul of the matter, then transposing this core of understanding into Eton terms and situations. Questions took a more serious turn with relation to the War in Afghanistan, but this too was insightful, and the evening was altogether a thoroughly enjoyable one.

Ollie Randall (RJM)