The contest is over, the entries have been read. I’ve consulted the oracles, sacrificed to the gods, and watched for their answers in bird, branch, and bough. And here’s what they have to say:
The winner of the random aspect of my contest is Christina Vasilevski, whose favorite historical figure is the emperor Claudius for a number of reasons.
1. My favourite high school English teacher said he loved the “I, Claudius” BBC miniseries. He died less than a year after he told me this, so watching the series makes me feel a little closer to him. And make no mistake, he was a wonderful teacher.
2. Dude, have you watched “I, Claudius”? It’s freaking amazing!
3. History has treated Claudius’ rule rather poorly, but recent re-evaluations of his time as emperor have led modern historians to believe he wasn’t nearly as incompetent as he was portrayed as being. It seems that he was a decent emperor, and not as bad as Caligula or Commodus. Isn’t it nice to be given a second chance about two thousand years after you die?
And the winner I chose from among the entries was one that spoke to my roots as a writer, going against what was expected of me in order to pursue my dreams. The entry I selected belongs to Abhinav Jain, who writes:
I would have to say that my favourite historical figure is Alexander the Great and that is because we are both doing (in his case did) something that no one around us could have predicted or even gone ahead and done. I come from a typical Indian family where I am expected to take up my father’s profession but I want to be a writer instead. Alexander didn’t just want to be a King in Macedonia, he wanted the entire world. And that’s where I connect with him.
Congratulations to Christina and Abhinav! And thanks for all the wonderful entries; I wish I could send a book to all who participated!