History

City of dazzling mosaics: the golden age of Ravenna

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Ian Thomson describes Ravenna’s golden age, when classical Rome, Byzantium and Christianity met

What would it mean to ‘decolonise’ the Classics?

18 July 2020 9:00 am

Can the Classics escape the grip of their past?

We’re making a spectacle of shame

11 July 2020 9:00 am

When I was about ten, on return home from church I ate a peach, the juice of which dribbled down…

Does the curriculum really need ‘decolonising’?

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Layla Moran, the Lib Dems’ education spokesman, has written to Gavin Williamson urging him to do something about ‘systemic racism’…

To understand the past, you need to inhabit it for a while

4 July 2020 9:00 am

‘It’s no go my honey love, it’s no go my poppet; Work your hands from day to day, the winds…

Tiberius and the ‘phantoms of liberty’

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Word has it that ministers already do not bother to argue their corner with the government’s inner ring, while a…

What Britain should learn from Belgium: history can be reappraised

13 June 2020 9:38 pm

Is it best to erase history, or reappraise history? We haven’t started taking down statues of royalty in Britain yet,…

Toppling a statue isn’t erasing history – it’s writing it

13 June 2020 9:00 am

I couldn’t disagree more with Sir Keir Starmer (it was ‘completely wrong,’ ‘it shouldn’t have been done in that way’)…

The genuine polymath is still one in a million

16 May 2020 9:00 am

With unlimited information just a click away, everyone can pass as a polymath today, says Philip Hensher

The Romans showed how quickly hospitals can be built

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The speed with which ‘model’ Nightingale hospitals have been designed and erected across the UK reminds one of the experts…

From ‘divine Caesar’ to Hitler’s lapdog – the rise and fall of Benito Mussolini

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Mussolini dreamed of a new Roman empire and dominion over the Mediterranean. Two decades later he was hanging by his feet in a public square, as Ian Thomson relates

resistance

COVID-19 vs the American spirit of resistance

27 April 2020 9:04 pm

If the coronavirus were as deadly as the bubonic plague, which killed about a third of the population of Europe…

Globalisation is scarcely new: it dates back to the year 1000

11 April 2020 9:00 am

In Japan, people thought the world would end in 1052. In the decades leading up to judgment day, Kyoto was…

Lord Heseltine could launch a Farage-style fight-back

1 February 2020 9:00 am

Lord Heseltine’s electrifying hair once whipped the party faithful into paroxysms of euphoria. But since today he sees his hopes…

What difference will ‘weirdos and misfits’ make to the civil service?

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Dominic Cummings has written a modest blog inviting mathematicians, physicists, AI specialists and other experts to help him revolutionise the…

History may hold the secrets of statecraft – but not the secrets of business leadership

21 December 2019 9:00 am

‘How can one person lead one hundred?’ That was one of the questions in my Cambridge entrance exams back in…

For the ancient Greeks, the only point in taking part was to win

16 November 2019 9:00 am

The England team reached the final of the rugby world cup in Japan but they lost. As athletes, they knew…

A ménage à trois that worked: Ivan Turgenev and the Viardots

5 October 2019 9:00 am

If we still bemoan a world of mass tourism, the mid 19th century, Orlando Figes reminds us, is where it…

With these documentaries, the BBC has lost any claim to impartiality

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Because the rise of the Nazis is a topic so rarely mentioned these days, least of all in schools, the…

For a solution to the backstop, team up like Rome and Carthage

31 August 2019 9:00 am

The EU is demanding that, in return for a new deal, the UK must come up with a solution to…

Are the Dead Ringers audience told to laugh?

15 June 2019 9:00 am

Nine on a Thursday morning is University Hour for those of us who don’t commute to an office every day.…

How do Britain’s pubs get their names?

18 May 2019 9:00 am

An easy one: what links Jack Straw’s Castle, The Labouring Boys and The Jolly Taxpayer? No, not the parliamentary expenses…

It’s all Greek to me: a schoolchild’s homework on a wax tablet, Egypt, 2nd century AD

Would James Joyce have finished Ulysses without coloured pens?

11 May 2019 9:00 am

The Mesopotamians wrote on clay and the ancient Chinese on ox bones and turtle shells. In Egypt, in about 1,800…

How will history judge Brexit?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

How will future generations revisit the Brexit years? Through what glass will we be seen? This spring and, I suspect,…

What would happen if the Gospels were judged in a history contest?

20 April 2019 9:00 am

This week, the Wolfson History Prize announced its shortlist. It is always worth drawing attention to, precisely because it is…