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By Hugh Leach

Diplomat and traveller Hugh Leach draws on his experience of working with Arab tribes to examine T.E. Lawrence’s strategy in the Arab revolt, in anticipation of a new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum.

As the jihadists of ISIS continue their brutal campaign to restore the Islamic caliphate, Conor Meleady draws parallels with the ultimately futile efforts of another would-be caliph a century ago.

In the early days of the First World War a plan was hatched in Berlin to spread revolt among the Muslim populations of the Entente empires. David Motadel looks at the reasons why it failed.

The decline of language skills threatens the study of the past. And machines won’t come to the rescue.

Findings at a desert site in eastern Syria shed light on pagan, Jewish and early Christian religions.

Previous accounts of the Mahdi, and of the government that he established and that his able successor carried on, have been dominated by two alien figures—Gordon and Kitchener. Here the Mahdia, P.M. Holt depicts “an organized revolutionary movement... resulting in the establishment of a territorial Islamic state,” with the help of fresh evidence, from a more comprehensive point of view.

Nationalist movements, by their very nature, claim to be exclusive, anchored to a specific place through shared links of blood or soil or past...

Sometimes history has so many twists and turns that you could not make it up. Today the south-west corner of the Arabian peninsula lies at the...

The ‘little town’ celebrated by western Christians as the location of the Nativity is much more than a stylised depiction evoked in Christmas cards each December, says Jacob Norris. 

John Godfrey describes how the capture of Constantinople in 1204 was an unexpected result of the Crusading movement.

From the thirteenth century until the suppression of the sect by Kemal Ataturk, writes Anne Fremantle, these enthusiasts symbolized their religious beliefs by means of their ecstatic dances.

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