Monica Lewinsky defends Mary Beard in Twitter row over black Roman Britons

Classical historian’s support for accuracy of educational video draws fire from US academic, but support from President Clinton’s former intern and other stars

Public figures from Monica Lewinsky to JK Rowling and Diane Abbott are lining up to support Mary Beard, after the the classical historian found herself at the centre of a storm of Twitter abuse at the weekend.

Beard came under fire after she wrote that a BBC educational video that showed a black Roman soldier was “pretty accurate”. The video, uploaded to YouTube by the BBC last December, had been criticised by some viewers as being anachronistic, but Beard wrote on Twitter that “there’s plenty of firm evidence for ethnic diversity in Roman Britain”.

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