At the height of the Roman Empire, hundreds of merchant ships left Egypt every year to voyage through the Red Sea into the Indian Ocean, exchanging the produce of the Mediterranean for exotic eastern commodities. Raoul McLaughlin traces their pioneering journeys.
The exploits of Tamburlaine, or Timur the Tartar, inspired the composition of one of the great English blank verse tragedies. But Marlowe’s fantastic personage scarcely outdid the fourteenth-century conqueror.
As springtime arrives in Japan, Matthew Knott looks at the history of the country’s love affair with the cherry blossom.
The Mongolian past has been drawn by both sides into twentieth-century disputes between Russia and China, writes J.J. Saunders.
BBC Sports Editor Mihir Bose explores a work on modern India.
Historian and film-maker Michael Wood recently visited Bristol Grammar School to talk about the BBC2 series The Story of India. Before the event began he was interviewed by sixth-form students Imogen Parkes and Nicholas Barrett; Oliver Chard transcribed the tape.
Charlotte Crow describes how a recent visit to India on the 150th anniversary of the Indian Mutiny became a flashpoint for Indians and Britons over the commemoration by the two nations.
Fraser Newham finds a connection running from the East India Company’s first mission to Tibet to the completion of the Golmud to Lhasa railway by the Chinese today.
Robert Bud says we should remember the Asian flu epidemic of 1957 as a turning point in the history of antibiotics.
Mihir Bose samples a work on an infamous massacre in the Raj in 1919.