British Classicists: We Owe Greece a Cultural Debt


A group of eminent classicists, historians and authors believe the West owes Greece a huge cultural debt. Opting to stay out of the economics of the matter and put a price tag on that debt, they referred only to their belief that what the west owes, is significant.

In a letter to The Telegraph, the philhellenes urge the newspapers readers “to remember the very great cultural debt that we owe to Greece”.

The letter has been signed by In Our Time presenter Melvyn Bragg, historian Michael Wood, founder Martha Lane Fox, poet Professor Simon Armitage, novelist Victoria Hislop and a string of notable academics and writers.

The full text of the letter:

Dear Sir,

It is timely to remember the very great cultural debt that we owe to Greece, how valiantly many Greeks fought in WWII and how hard-working, frugal and family-minded the majority of Greeks have long been and continue to be. Whatever the precise nature of Greece’s economic future, it is profoundly to be hoped that the Greek people will receive robust support from its European allies, including those in the British Government.

Prof Angie Hobbs, Dr Bettany Hughes, Martha Lane Fox, Tom Holland, Victoria Hislop, Prof Simon Armitage, Prof Michael Wood, Prof Paul Cartledge, Melvyn Bragg, Prof Chris Pelling, Dr Armand D’Angour, Natalie Haynes, Charlotte Mendelson, Prof Edith Hall, Prof Armand Leroi, Dr Michael Scott



  1. Herc Deftereos on

    Germany owes Reparations to Greece for
    WWII Pay that first ….or suggest Merkel scrap the interest & Take Capital owing….

  2. Sally Tournas on

    Think about all the money that’s being made…by Germany…by the bankers…by the corporations…and by the few at the top…at the cost of not only Greece, but throughout the World! The inequality is unjust! This needs to stop!

  3. Sally Tournas on

    An enormous “Thank You” to all those who signed this letter in support and in doing the right thing!

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