The British Empire’s latest crime – to have ended the Enlightenment

2 December 2023 9:00 am

Richard Whatmore sees trade and colonisation in the 19th century as the great threat to Enlightenment ideals, and British imperialism as an unremitting force of darkness

The balance of power between humans and machines

18 November 2023 9:00 am

Robert Skidelsky dismisses the possibility of our annihilation by a superintelligent computer system, since ‘science tells us that we cannot create such a being’. But does it?

George Osborne’s midlife crisis

2 September 2023 9:00 am

There should be a term in anthropology for what happens to a certain type of Tory male in middle age.…

Our great art institutions have reduced British history to a scrapheap of shame

12 August 2023 9:00 am

Calvin Po laments the pious distortions of history at two of Britain’s best-known galleries

The rise of conspiracy history

5 August 2023 9:00 am

Canada’s determination to believe the worst about its past


22 July 2023 9:00 am

The ancients were as fascinated by rumour as, to judge by recent events in Russia and the BBC, we are.…

A manner of speaking

15 July 2023 9:00 am

What, if anything, have dictators over the centuries had in common?

15 July 2023 9:00 am

Simon Kuper finds little to connect the strongmen of the past and present apart from their contempt for their own supporters

In good company

3 June 2023 9:00 am

Under oath

13 May 2023 9:00 am

What does Russia really want?

22 October 2022 7:00 pm

The question of ‘why’ Russia invaded Ukraine has been forgotten amid war’s fog. Greed and malice partially explains it. History, geopolitics…

The case against a stripped-back coronation

22 October 2022 9:00 am

The case against a stripped-back coronation

Who was George Canning? (1973)

21 October 2022 2:18 am

Until Liz Truss, George Canning was the shortest-serving prime minister. He needn’t be forgotten by pub quizzers, general knowledge collectors and…

What Washington was like during the Cuban Missile Crisis (2002)

12 October 2022 7:00 pm

On 27 October 1962, US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara stepped out of crisis meetings and looked up at the sky.…

A lesson for Rupa Huq from the ancient Greeks

8 October 2022 9:00 am

The Labour MP Rupa Huq, of Pakistani heritage, has been suspended for suggesting that Kwasi Kwarteng, of Ghanaian heritage, was…

Peta, Lysistrata and the comedy of a sex strike

1 October 2022 9:00 am

The German branch of the ‘green’ organisation Peta (‘People for the ethical treatment of animals’) is demanding that, until men…

Augustus and a lesson in self-publicity

17 September 2022 9:00 am

The death of Her Majesty raises the question of a commemoration of her extraordinary years of service. Augustus ruled the…

One worldview has taken over the historical profession

29 August 2022 7:00 pm

Professor James H. Sweet is a temperate man. He seeks to avoid extremes. But he also seeks to be bold…

The ancient problem of the man who threw away £150m in bitcoin

13 August 2022 9:00 am

James Howells has spent years trying to persuade Newport council to allow him to spend millions digging up a rubbish…

Do we need a Roman-style Water Czar?

6 August 2022 9:00 am

It is clear that the country will soon need a Water Czar. Augustus’s right-hand man Agrippa would be the one…

The unflattering truth about the battle for No. 10

30 July 2022 9:00 am

The battle to be PM raises the question: in a functioning democracy, how should arguments be won? Surely, by persuasion.…

The forgotten history of Poland and Ukraine

3 July 2022 4:00 pm

Since the outbreak of war in February there has been an overwhelming focus on the historical links between Russia and…

The ancient Greek art of theatre criticism

2 July 2022 9:00 am

Last week Lloyd Evans was wondering whether it was about time audiences started booing dramatic productions of which they disapproved.…

The ancient art of love spells

25 June 2022 9:00 am

An Oxford don has raised the prospect of producing a cocktail of hormone pills that would help you to fall…