The whole question of the future of the East is full of interest, and is, perhaps, the greatest political question in the world.
… a corps of men specially selected, brought up in a rigour of bodily hardship to which no other modern people have subjected their ruling class, trained by cold baths, cricket, and the history of Greece and Rome …
In his essay ‘Comparativism and references to Rome in British imperial attitudes to India’, Javed Majeed shows how Greek and Latin figured prominently in the examinations for the Indian Civil Service, the prestigious administrative body that David Lloyd George called ‘the steel frame’. Greek and Latin were not just used to attract and shape a class of ruling ‘gentlemen’, but were also part of a complex structure of attitude and practice designed ‘to preserve the ICS as a monopoly of European officers’. Majeed's insightful essay sheds light on the role of ICS examinations and on the function of Classics in colonial contexts, although it is mainly about comparative approaches to the British and Roman empires.