Guess who's coming to dinner?
Some time ago, I asked my senior ancient history class what ancient leaders (or figures from history) would they invite to dinner. It was not limited to ancient history and there were some interesting combinations - some had a table of dictators, some a table of warriors, others a table of women. Since then, I have thought about who my select guests would be. So here they are:
Thutmosis III - a great opportunity to talk about mothers! I am not entirely convinced that Thutmosis alone is responsible for the removal of Hatsheput's name from the list of Egyptian kings. However, he is the one that historians point the finger at. So, I want to know the inside goss: how did she secure the position of pharaoh for herself? Why did he wait till she died before he became pharaoh and did he really hate her so much that he removed her name from history?
Elizabeth I - not ancient, I know, but nevertheless, interesting, She can also hold her own among powerful men. I wonder what she would make of the modern royal family - how there is a monarch on the throne with the same name (only the second in history!) and how the institution has survived all these centuries.
Marcus Aurelius - I would like his comments on the state of the modern world - what have we got right and what are we still doing wrong? His insights would be interesting indeed. I would also like to know what changes he would have made to the Roman Empire, had he been able to make any significant changes at all.
Cleopatra - I can't leave Elizabeth on her own and I think these two women would have some things in common - born into royal families, both were never supposed to become queen, and yet, both did! I would also like to hear Cleo's version of Julius Caesar, the man!
Xerxes - I teach a unit on the Persian Wars - and of course, the events are recorded by the victorious Greeks! I would like to know his version of events, and compare them to the versions we have today. I would also like to hear any comments about the current situation in the Middle East -does he have any solutions?
Nebuchadnezzar II - the supposed architect of the hanging gardens of Babylon and the ruler of said city - so did he build them? What were they like? What was a Babylon like at the time?I have always had a secret historical crush on Nebuchadnezzar because I thought to built the gardens was such a romantic gesture. I would be devastated to learn otherwise
To reflect the current culinary trends, the menu would consist of plant-based foods accompanied by botanically distilled alcoholic cocktails.... and chocolate, lots of chocolate!
All weapons need to be checked at the door! Formal attire compulsory.
Who would you invite to your feast?