Boris Johnson has a book: Johnson’s Life of London: The People Who Made the City that Made the World. I found one reviewer who says ‘Every page is the coded plea: “Boris for Mayor”.’ and how all the characters tend to be written in a way that reminds the reader of Boris himself. However, here’s another, classical take on the claim in Boris’ title.
The title of Boris’s forthcoming book on the people of London claims that it is ‘the city that made the world’. Whoa back, steady on, now. Surely Boris means Rome, centre of a vast ancient empire, not to mention the worldwide Catholic Church?
When the poet Martial described the opening of the Colosseum in ad 80, he observed the vast throng gathered in it and wondered if there was any race so remote, so barbarous that it was not represented — Thracians, Sarmatians (from the Danube), Britons, Arabs, Sygambrians (a German people), Ethiopians, ‘their voices a babel, yet one, when they call you, emperor, true father of the fatherland’. The emperor indeed had the whole wide world in his hands, and the peoples of the world knew it.