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Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Saturday, 18 August 2012 11:52 UK

Roman outsourcing: 'A back-scratching deal'

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News that Virgin had lost the franchise to run the West Coast main line broke this week. But the issue of how much a private company should bid to run a public service was something the ancient Romans had to grapple with as well.

Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Cambridge University explains.


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