The implied assumption about Ancient History, which in the present discussion will comprise mainly Graeco–Roman history, is that ‘relevance’ obtains. What this will chiefly mean is that in some sense history does teach lessons, and that specifically Ancient History has lessons to teach students of international affairs at the present day. A massive assumption, it may be thought. Some suggestions towards a defence of the proposition appear later. What might seem more readily defensible is the view that it is the present which may illuminate the past. Here the lessons of history, if we admit them, become retrospective. If Winston Churchill in certain aspects of his career in the 1930s resembled the orator Demosthenes in the fourth century B.C. pronouncing his Anti-Philippics, even more revealingly, perhaps, in enhancing contemporary understanding of the latter period, did Demosthenes fulfil the role of Winston Churchill in his “wilderness years”.