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Was the Trojan Horse Real?

#Was the Trojan Horse Real? Ever since 1873 when the German businessman and archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, following the evidence of Homer’s Iliad, found the remnants of a grand metropolis – now Hisarlik in modern Turkey – the existence of the…

Beware the Lides of March

#Beware the Lides of March March is the month which proverbially ‘comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb’. That proverb, which dates back to the 17th century, is just one of many traditional sayings about the…

Measuring the Shape of the Earth

#Measuring the Shape of the Earth In 1726 Voltaire faced a not very difficult choice: imprisonment without trial in the Bastille, or exile in England. After sailing across the Channel, he landed in another universe. Before leaving France, he declared,…

‘Rites of Passage’ by Judith Flanders review

#‘Rites of Passage’ by Judith Flanders review Alfred, Lord Tennyson died a poet’s death. His son Hallam wrote that, after listening to a prayer taken from his own verses, he lay in bed, a ‘figure of breathing marble, flooded and…

The Golden Age of Medieval Nostalgia

#The Golden Age of Medieval Nostalgia ‘In my day, the kingdom was as good and as full as an egg.’ So the late-14th-century knight Philippe de Mézières expressed his longing for the old days: ‘Things have changed a lot I…

What Do We Get Wrong About the Byzantine Empire?

#What Do We Get Wrong About the Byzantine Empire? ‘The “Byzantines” were no less Roman than Caesar or Hadrian’ Anthony Kaldellis is author of The New Roman Empire: A History of Byzantium (Oxford University Press, 2024) The first thing we…

André Rigaud: Napoleon’s Man in Haiti

#André Rigaud: Napoleon’s Man in Haiti In 1893 the Black American playwright William Edgar Easton published Dessalines, a Dramatic Tale: A Single Chapter From Haiti’s History, a play about the Haitian Revolution. Ostensibly a biopic of independent Haiti’s founder General…

On the Spot: Courtney J. Campbell

#On the Spot: Courtney J. Campbell Why are you a historian of Latin America?  Studying languages led me from Michigan to Paraguay and then Brazil. I became interested in the history of US presence in the region. What’s the most…

Putting Pirates on Trial

#Putting Pirates on Trial In mid-June 1725 the Weekly Journal or British Gazetteer published a list of noteworthy London deaths over the previous week: three drowned, one who fell from a cart, one killed with a sword, and a child…

‘Forbidden Desire in Early Modern Europe’ by Noel Malcolm review

#‘Forbidden Desire in Early Modern Europe’ by Noel Malcolm review Regular users of social media may be aware that the peach emoji is used to indicate not only the fruit in question but also the buttocks. This metaphor is not…