Finally, with the fourth of his word portraits, Grayling returns to the idea with which he introduced the book of Acts: the idea that we should read and judge for ourselves. But again, he’s going to push us – not terribly gently – in the direction he thinks we should judge.
His account of Cato is more balanced than his accounts of the Greeks, but then, Cato was a Roman. For all their cultural borrowing from the Greeks, the Romans had strong and vital traditions of their own, and Cato stands somewhere between the two cultures.
If Grayling’s accounts of Lycurgus, Solon and Pericles had been as even-handed as his portrayal of Cato, I’d have spent less time complaining in recent posts – although his prose style remains as deplorable as ever.