Babylon

Ivory plaque of a lioness mauling a man, ivory, gold, cornelian, lapis lazuli, Nimrud, 900 BC–700 BC. [© The Trustees of the British Museum]

The Assyrians of Ashurbanipal’s time were just as into pillage and destruction as Isis

1 December 2018 9:00 am

The Assyrians placed sculptures of winged human-headed bulls (lamassus) at the entrances to their capital at Nineveh, in modern Mosul,…

What the NHS does now, Babylon did first

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Financial constraints combined with a shortage of staff have brought the NHS to a situation so desperate that it is…

‘Adam and Eve in Paradise’, by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1531)

The journey of Adam and Eve

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Trying to reconcile a belief in the literal truth of the Bible with the facts of the world as we…

A Russian barber cuts off the beard of an Old Believer. In 1705, as part of his ruthless campaign of modernisation, Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards of up to 100 roubles

Why do men grow beards?

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The ocean that Christopher Oldstone-Moore has set out to chart is as broad as it is shallow: what it has…

So long, Scandinavia. Bonjour, Benelux! 

15 February 2014 9:00 am

So long, Scandinavia. Bonjour, Benelux! BBC4, your subtitle-friendly channel, has filled the hole left by Nordic-noir The Bridge with Belgian…

Ancient and modern: Herodotus on 111

3 August 2013 9:00 am

The NHS 111 line, designed to deal with problems that do not count as emergencies, is in financial and organisational…