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Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Saturday, 3 April 2010 10:40 UK

Boat race's 'Athenian roots'

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The annual Oxford and Cambridge boat race takes place on the River Thames today, in one of the greatest battles of sporting pride.

But a new book, Lords of the Sea by former Cambridge rower John Hale argues that rowing represents the foundation of democracy, describing how the rowers of the fleets of ancient Athens became the first ordinary people in history to get the vote. Mr Hale, and Deaglan McEachern, Cambridge University Boat Club President, reflect on the importance of rowing in Ancient Greece.

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