Ancient Rome

The Romans liked a stylish death

20 October 2018 9:00 am

World Mental Health day raised again the issue of suicide, still regarded as happening only among those ‘whose balance of…

Where does authority really lie in the UK? The ancients would have known

14 July 2018 9:00 am

Forget David Davis, Boris, the cabinet, the commentariat. It’s time to concentrate on the big picture and the central question:…

If Trump seems bad, remember Caligula

13 January 2018 9:00 am

Whatever one makes of the accuracy of the journalist Michael Wolff’s depiction of President Trump, it cannot all be the…

When armies take over democracy dies

25 November 2017 9:00 am

While the military is running Zimbabwe, there is no hope of anything resembling a functioning democracy replacing the tyrant Robert…

The wily courtesans who won more respect than modern-day feminists

11 November 2017 9:00 am

Some MPs have been exploiting their power by their sexual fumblings with the lower ranks. The result is that when…

Still life: ‘A Kiss’, 1891, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Silent films

9 September 2017 9:00 am

On 15 September 1888 Vincent van Gogh was intrigued to read an account of an up-to-date artist’s house in the…

Buried treasure: an archaeologist diver brushes clear a bovid jaw discovered in Aboukir Bay

The treasures of Alexandria revealed: British Museum’s Sunken cities reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

It was not so unusual for someone to turn into a god in Egypt. It happened to the Emperor Hadrian’s…

The best guide to being an EU politician – from 1,900 years ago

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Boris Johnson argues that the current European Union is yet another failed attempt to replicate the golden age of a…

True or false? The Temple of Bel, Palmyra, before and after its destruction at the hands of Islamic State

Why confront the ugly lie of Islamic State with a tacky fake?

28 May 2016 9:00 am

There is fakery in the air. And maybe the French are done with deconstruction. A drone operated by a French…

On immigration, are we doing as the Romans did?

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Last week it was suggested that the questions asked of London mayor Sadiq Khan had nothing to do with racism,…

Romans, racism and Sadiq Khan

14 May 2016 9:00 am

‘Racism’ refers to the belief in racially determined inferiority, most often recognised in body-type, about which, by definition, nothing can…

Elephants are special – the Romans knew it too

7 May 2016 9:00 am

In order to deter poachers, hundreds of tons of elephants’ tusks are being incinerated in Kenya. But even for Romans,…

The Camerons of the ancient world boasted about the tax they paid

16 April 2016 9:00 am

As Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell whinge away about how rich David Cameron’s family is, they might consider that in…

Ancient Roman advice on how to deal with bouncers

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The papers are full of top stories about important people who cannot get into important parties because the doorman does…

Norma at the ENO (Photo: Alastair Muir)

Long live ENO!

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The three most moving, transporting death scenes in 19th-century opera all involve the respective heroines mounting a funeral pyre —…

Oscars goodie bags should take a tip from the Roman emperors

20 February 2016 9:00 am

There was something admirable about the spirit of careful mockery behind the doggy bags on offer to the finalists in…

Monumental change: the overthrow of the statue of Napoleon I, which was on top of the Vendôme Column. The painter Gustave Courbet is ninth from the right

A short history of statue-toppling

9 January 2016 9:00 am

One of the stranger disputes of the past few weeks has concerned a Victorian figure that has occupied a niche…

If he’s lucky, Jeremy Corbyn might be as good on defence as Nero

14 November 2015 9:00 am

Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nicholas Houghton is worried that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will never use the existing…

Standing figure of the ancient Egyptian god Horus, wearing Roman military costume, 1st–2nd century AD and Seated figure of the ancient Egyptian god Horus, wearing Roman military costume, 1st–2nd century AD

Egypt: where gods are born and go to die

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Over the stupefyingly long course of Egyptian history, gods have been born and they have died. Some 4,000 years ago,…

The fall of the Roman republic – and the rise of the EU

29 October 2015 9:00 am

As both sides of the great EU debate line up their forces, it is worth reflecting on the implications of…

John McDonnell’s true economic guru: the emperor Nero

10 October 2015 9:00 am

John McDonnell, shadow chancellor in the Corbynite splinter-group, has announced that £120 billion is waiting to be reclaimed from tax…

What Tiberius could teach Jeremy Corbyn about democracy

26 September 2015 8:00 am

The virtuous Mr Corbyn is insisting that New Old Labour should return to its traditional republican ways and take decisions…

How ancient Rome turned immigrants into citizens

12 September 2015 9:00 am

In the migration crisis, the EU is currently acting just like the ancients, as if border controls did not exist,…

Jeremy Corbyn and what a real plebeian revolt looks like

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Last week, guru Corbyn was invited to reflect on the 2,500-year-old Roman origins of the republicanism to which he is…

How to tell if Jeremy Corbyn is a proper republican

29 August 2015 9:00 am

True to his antique, bearded ideology, guru Corbyn is a ‘republican’, a form of government invented 2,500 years ago. ‘Republic’…