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How to Teach Classics to Your Dog

A Quirky Introduction to the Ancient Greeks and Romans


It should have been a beautiful moment between a man and his dog. Philip Womack made a quip about Cerberus, the three-headed hell-hound, but for Una, the beloved lurcher, it was all Greek. Then she ran off after a squirrel. And Womack was left to wonder what else she didn’t know about the great civilisations of the past.

The Greeks and the Romans laid the foundations of so much of what we read, listen to and watch today, from the baked pies of Game of Thrones to the Lotus-eaters of Love Island. In this unique introduction, Womack leads Una and us on a fleet-footed odyssey through the classical world. You’ll learn to tell your Odysseus from your Oedipus, your Polyxena from your Polydorus…but the story of the hunting dogs that tore their own master apart may be best left for another day.

‘Engaging and funny and clever. Written with the verve of a novelist and the insights of a scholar. Illuminates the pleasures and relevance of the Classics today.’

– Dr Harry Sidebottom, Lecturer in Ancient History at Lincoln College, Oxford and author of the bestselling Warrior of Rome series

'Philip's whimsical tale of classical chats with his dog offers a new kind of introduction to the ancient world: immensely informative, wrapped in an engagingly casual tone, complemented by more than a dash of the bizarre. You'd be barking to miss it.'

– Professor Michael Scott, Academic, Author and Broadcaster

'Mirabile dictu! Philip Womack and Una – his optima canis – are tremendous companions in their journey round the classical world. The ultimate vademecum...'

– Harry Mount, author of Amo, Amas, Amat and All That