Bristol Brexit-backer Arron Banks ridiculed for arguing Roman history with Professor Mary BeardHistorians in the News
tags: mary beard, Brexit, Arron Banks
The man who is said to have bankrolled Brexit, Bristol businessman Arron Banks, has sparked something of an internet sensation after arguing about Roman history with leading Classical expert Mary Beard.
Mr Banks, who owns a diamond mine and a Bristol-based insurance company, took the bold step of questioning Professor Beard's assessment of the decline of the Roman Empire – which he had compared with the European Union – and backed it up by saying he was basing it on what he learned at school decades ago and love of the film Gladiator.
Prof Beard, a professor of Classics and a fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge, for the past 32 years, is perhaps the best known and most respected Classical historian in Britain and has presented many documentaries on the subject on the BBC. ...
Their extraordinary spat – which ended amicably but with Mr Banks being mercilessly mocked – began on Twitter when the UKIP donor agreed with an assessment from someone else that the Roman Empire had fallen because Rome had 'mishandled a migration crisis', which he compared with the EU mishandling the refugee crisis caused by the wars in Syria and east Africa.
"True the Roman Empire was effectively destroyed by immigration," he began.
Mr Banks is a voracious tweeter, and wouldn't back down even when two of the nation's leading experts in the subject stepped in and said matters were a little more complicated than that.
First off was Averil Cameron, a professor of antique and Byzantine history at Keble College, Oxford, who said that this opinion was just plain wrong. And then Prof Beard weighed in to do what she thought would put the matter straight.
"I think you all need to do a bit more reading in Roman history before telling us what caused the fall of Rome. Facts guys!" she tweeted.
"Sorry but you may have strong views but you guys don't know Roman history." ...
comments powered by Disqus
- Fake News and Fervent Nationalism Got a Senator Tarred as a Traitor During WWI
- Debunking Viral Story, Art Historian Says ‘Allah’ Does Not Appear on Ancient Viking Garment
- Will Trump Be Remembered as the Worst President in History? Almost Half Think So
- Thank This Man For Your Last-Minute Halloween Costume
- Letters from young Obama show a man trying to find his way
- Thomas Childers says we’ve got the Nazis wrong in 5 different ways
- National security expert Tom Nichols: “Hey, I’m unstable” is a bad look for the president
- Fake news? It’s nothing new, says Trinity College Dublin historian
- Historian discovers early Reformation writings “hiding in plain sight”
- Victor Davis Hanson says we shouldn’t be rushing to war with North Korea