This Month's Magazine

Image of the March issue front cover

Five hundred years ago, in a remote part of Germany, an Augustinian friar set in train a series of events that led to the permanent splintering of western Christendom. The story of Martin Luther posting his Ninety-Five Theses Against Indulgences is this month’s cover feature. 

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Also in this issue

  • Was the First Crusade Really a War Against Islam?
  • Miracle in the Marches
  • The Merry Dance of the Highwayman
  • Geoffrey Chaucer's post-truth world
  • Something to Laugh About; laughing at those in power
  • Plus: A general state of mourning, Imre Kertesz, Britain's welfare state and more

You can buy this issue from our website or at newsagents across the United Kingdom (find your nearest stockist) from February 16th. You can also subscribe or get it as a digital edition via the History Today App.

We've also created a Spotify playlist to go with this month's edition, featuring songs inspired by the issue's contents. You can listen to it below.

Selected articles from this issue

By Bridget Heal

In the third of our occasional series in which leading historians tell the story of major historical events with reference to the History Today archive, Bridget Heal offers an account of the man who split western Christendom for good.

Read the original piece  at historytoday.com/fta

By Kate Davison

Laughing at experts is nothing new. Kate Davison explores our long history of puncturing the powerful with satire and humour – to keep them in line and just for the fun of it.  

Duval dances on the moonlit heath, William Powell Frith, late 19th century. © Bridgeman Images/Manchester Art Gallery

By John Sugden

Along with Robin Hood, the romantic highwayman is one of the great myths of English outlawry. But the model for this most gallant of rogues was a Frenchman, who carried out audacious robberies with a touch of Parisian flair. John Sugden on Claude Duval’s life and legend.

Imre Kertesz © Getty Images

By Alexander Lee

Struggling to make sense of the Holocaust, one Hungarian novelist came to the startling realisation that the 20th century’s darkest moment might not yield any lessons for posterity, writes Alexander Lee.

St Mary’s church, Credenhill,  Herefordshire. 14th-century window with St Thomas de Cantilupe on the  right alongside St Thomas Becket. © Ian Bass

By Ian Bass

The small city of Hereford became one of England’s most important pilgrim sites due to the many miracles attributed to a local saint. Ian Bass explains what they reveal about life in the Middle Ages.  

The First Descent of Julius Caesar on the Coast of Britain’, from  G.F. Raymond’s History of England, late 18th century. © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

By Hugh Aldersey-Williams

In a world of rapid growth in maritime trade, understanding the tides was vital. Yet it was a complex process, dependent on science, geography, mathematics, religion and ego, writes Hugh Aldersey-Williams.

© Roland and Sabrina Michaud/akg-images.

By Kate Wiles

Kate Wiles highlights the Ottoman cartographer Piri Re'is and his charts, which blend navigation and art.

Mortar unit of the US 2nd Brigade Combat team, Iraq, 2007.  © Alamy/The Guardian

By John E. Talbott

Since the Iliad, war has inspired stories – mixing fact and fiction – which reveal as much, if not more, about the realities of conflict as academic studies. John E. Talbott examines writing about ‘the human condition at its most extreme’.

Two men duelling on horseback, Egyptian manuscript from Fustat, Old Cairo, 12th century. © Bridgeman Images/Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo. © Bridgeman Images/Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo

By Nicholas Morton

It is widely believed that the Crusades were a clash of civilisations. But a closer examination, writes Nicholas Morton, reveals a complexity that has eluded many historians.