After the recent aticle in The Guardian on why modern man should invest time in the study of classical literature, especially in this socially and economically troubled climate, it can come as no surprise that many people who have devoted their lives to the study of the Classics and the ancient Hellenic civilization agree that when our politicians decide n how to handle the economic situation in Greece, they keep in mind the debt we all have to the ancient Hellenic civilization.

In a letter to The Telegraph, these philhellenes urge our 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. In full, it reads:

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
Unsurprisingly, many of these people have written books that Hellenists all over the world reffer to often for information and understanding. these are people most of us respect and admire. I have my own idea about the whole economic affair (I am sure we all have) but no matter what our standpoint is, this letter hits the nail on the head. As the Archaeology News Network reports:

"It is the country that gave us democracy, the Olympics, philosophy, medicine, mathematics and some ruddy good stories. Surely you can't put a price on that. [...] Just think: where would we be if Achilles hadn't been shot in the heel or Odysseus hadn't made it home? If Archimedes hadn't been obsessed with circles? If Pythagoras hadn't preferred angles? If Theseus hadn't killed the minotaur or Icarus hadn't flown too close to the sun or Persephone hadn't made a deal with Hades or Helen hadn't launched a thousand ships?

What would our world be like if Socrates hadn't talked of knowledge, Plato hadn't written about love, and Aristotle hadn't thought about science and ethics and logic and God? If Phidias hadn't designed the Parthenon and Polykleitos hadn't defined male beauty and Praxiteles hadn't sculpted the female form? If Hippocrates hadn't revolutionised medicine? If Alexander hadn't been so great?"
Try to argue with that, I dare you.