Bettany Hughes on the history of Alexandria tonight on More4


While looking through the Radio Times I came across a picture of the lovely Bettany Hughes, who is presenting a TV programme on More4 tonight.  Judging from reactions online, a lot of people will be watching just because she’s presenting it.

What’s it about?  Oh, some nonsense about the history of Alexandria, I believe.  I didn’t get the impression from comments like “Bettany on a horse! Yum!” that this subject was absolutely critical to the viewing figures…

Returning to seriousness for a moment, I hope that we don’t get too many references to literary texts which we can’t identify.  There’s nothing more frustrating than listening to some programme on the ancient world, hearing a really interesting statement about antiquity, and then being quite unable to work out what it is based on.


9 thoughts on “Bettany Hughes on the history of Alexandria tonight on More4

  1. I haven’t seen it, but I bet they have represented SS. Theophilus, Cyril I, and Dioscorus as anti-philosophy, mind and progress. They most probably have focused on Hypatia, and again abused her story to attack the Church of Alexandria and Christianity as a whole. Bettany Hughes will not be riding a horse as much as the liberals and atheists.

  2. I was astonished to hear her say that St Mark visited Alexandra ‘a few years after Christ’s resurrection’! How can a historian treat the supernatural as an historical event?

  3. Perhaps because it was?

    Your own religious position makes you disbelieve in what 90% of the world believe. But that religious position has no rational basis; it’s usually adopted as a consequence of selfishness. To demand that the rest of us should live and write as if we accept your position, to pretend that it alone is rational, involves a dogmatism that the most extreme believer would hardly profess. Your view is just one of those held in the world today, and not a widely held one. More tolerance, please.

  4. I’ve nothing against religious belief – but why didn’t she say ‘after Christ’s crucifixion?’ – which is a statement of fact nobody could quarrel with

  5. Not many people would say that. The evidence that Jesus lived and was crucified is firm and uncontroversial. Nobody inventing a new religion would give their founder a degrading and shocking death.

  6. I too switched off early.
    After sixteen minutes I’d seen and listened to her and hadn’t seen more than ten seconds of Alexandria. A couple of pillars only.
    Why do some presenters think we tuned in to see them?

  7. I think I lost interest when they went into the Serapeum at Saqqara. That’s all very well but (a) I have been there and (b) it had little to do with Alexandria.

    I suspect the problem is the lack of much real material at Alexandria itself.

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