My mother took me to the British Museum aged five. I had thought people from the past weren't as good as we were, and then I saw the Elgin marbles. Suddenly, the world seemed more complicated.

Playing around with other people's husbands when you were 17 was bad news. Yes, I was a very naughty girl.

What I find very interesting is, we're not enthralled by the ancient world, and we've escaped all kinds of ancient preconceptions and assumptions and prejudices. But, nevertheless, we still make that connection between authoritative speech and male speech.

The web is democratising and also the voice of people who don't think they have another outlet. And that voice can be punitive.

One of the downsides of working in antiquity is that you don't have many female voices, but you certainly have a lot of male terror about the potential of women's power. It shows you very clearly that the most oppressive cultures tend to be afraid of those whom they oppress.

There's a basic rule of thumb that the more a culture oppresses women, or oppresses anyone, the more culturally preoccupied they are with that.

All religions throughout history have been concerned about - and have sometimes fought over - what it means to represent God, and they have found elegant, intriguing, and awkward ways to confront that dilemma.

I receive something we might euphemistically call an 'inappropriately hostile' response - that is to say, more than fair criticism or even fair anger - every time I speak on radio or television.

I have always hated fancy dress parties.

When you look at me on the telly and say, 'She should be on 'The Undateables,'' you are looking at a 59-year-old woman. That is what 59-year-old women who have not had work done look like. Get it?

If you say to a group of women professors, 'Close your eyes and think of a professor,' what they will see is a guy. I will. And I'll stop myself and think, 'Hey, hang on, what am I doing here?'

I think that what will help women get into positions of power - well, day nurseries, equal pay, family-friendly working hours. And I think all that's important. I used to think it was the solution. I now think it's enabling, and it's important, but still we have got head work to do about this.

What politicians do is they never get the rhetoric wrong, and the price they pay is they don't speak the truth as they see it. Now, I will speak truth as I see it, and sometimes I don't get the rhetoric right. I think that's a fair trade-off.

In 1984, I returned to Newnham College at Cambridge University to teach after completing my Ph.D. there a couple of years earlier. Almost all of my colleagues in the university's classics department were men, and my office at the all-women's college was in the dorm.

I knew that Trump was ghastly. I knew I'd vote for Hillary if I had a vote.

People who exploit others come to spend an enormous amount of energy wondering about and justifying that exploitation.

I have lots of heroes and heroines, mostly unsung and including my husband.

One of its most powerful weapons has always been 'barbarity': 'we' know that 'we' are civilised by contrasting ourselves with those we deem to be un-civilised, with those who do not - or cannot be trusted to - share our values.

I was into Black Power, and my practice Oxbridge essay was a rant. The headmistress said I'd never get in with that, but she was probably wrong. I was the ideal combination: a swot who was also a bad girl.

For whatever reason, some sorts of women's silence were broken by MeToo. This is the optimistic bit. And that will lead to a much more careful attention to women's voices.

You have to do what you feel comfortable with.

We have never escaped a certain male cultural desire for women's silence.

One of the great things about history is that it sort of isn't a done deal - ever. The historical texts and the historical evidence that you use is always somehow giving you different answers because you're asking it different questions.

What interests me is the idea that classics is actually quite democratic. It isn't only the toff, upper-class subject it's often thought to be. Every generation enjoys rediscovering it.

When I am making a TV show, I am looking for engagement, not admiration.

If talking about arts means being pretentious, a bit like being a wine critic, then I don't feel comfy with that. You can get a lot from paintings without getting mystical about brush strokes.

I don't want to see a world in which women can communicate on Twitter, but their actual voices are not heard.

I'm actually in a tradition of classicists with a big public face who like sounding off.

No women in ancient Rome ever had the vote.

You always regret upsetting people needlessly.

My mom was born before women had the vote in general elections in England.

We make two mistakes about the ancient world. One is to assume they were better than us - that, for instance, the ancient Olympics didn't involve money-making. The opposite mistake, and just as common, is to think our Olympics are much more civilised than ancient sporting competitions. Neither is true.

The gloomiest way of describing the ancient world is it is misogyny from A to Z, really.

What is the role of an academic - no matter what they're teaching - within political debate? It has to be that they make issues more complicated. The role of the academic is to make everything less simple.

I'm very interested in how people in the 19th century travelled to Greece.

We are sold the idea of a refugee as a tiny child sitting crying, as a way of raising money, but elderly ladies and kids largely can't move. The demographic is mostly young men.

Classics isn't about the ancient world. It's partly about the ancient world, but it's about our conversation. It's how we try to talk to antiquity.

I'm exploring the long history of women, first of all, being silenced and, secondly, not being taken seriously in the political and public sphere. It's a call to action through understanding and through looking at ourselves again and trying to reformulate the whole question of women and power.

When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice.

It would have been nice if the people who were criticising 'Civilizations' had actually watched it. But the popular response has been tremendous, and in the end, that's what really matters.

I don't think that we are completely dominated by what we have inherited from the past, but it is the case that as far back as you can go - just to Homer, but also to the literature of Rome, the literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance - what you will find is that women's voices are not taken seriously.

I think most people gain some sense of how to look at a painting, but no one ever teaches you how to look at a piece of silver.

My fantasy is going into a men's loo. And listening to what they say.

There is no argument that I won't take seriously.

Gender is a key marker of power and powerlessness. Most of the structures of how our world works are biased in terms of men.

Thinking through how you look to your enemies is helpful. That doesn't mean that your ideology is wrong and theirs is right, but maybe you have to recognise that they have one - and that it may be logically coherent. Which may be uncomfortable.

English country towns are often seen as a cultural wasteland, but the more cut off you are, the more the need to create things, to make your own culture.

Nobody but an idiot would pretend that they had an error-proof way of choosing the 'best' out of hundreds of perfectly qualified applicants - not for university or for anything.

There is nothing inherently conservative in the ancient world.