Feature

The Discovery of Sparta

Warriors in red cloaks battling against the odds at Thermopylae is the image usually associated with Sparta. But a richer and more contentious tale lies in the ancient city’s stones.

Thebes: The Forgotten City

The city of Thebes was central to the ancient Greeks’ achievements in politics and culture. For many centuries it has been largely – and often deliberately – forgotten.

Behind the Mask

The Chinese government’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic reveals much about its memory of the humiliations of the 19th century.

Beethoven’s 250th Symphony

As music became an art for all the people of Europe, Ludwig van Beethoven, born 250 years ago this year, became the hero and the symbol of an aspiring German nation.

The Forging of a Communist

The historian Eric Hobsbawm kept faith with the Marxist orthodoxies of his youth even after the Soviet invasions of Hungary in 1956, of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Why?

The Pilgrims’ Progress

With every major anniversary, our perspective on the voyage of the Mayflower changes. This year’s 400th will address the legacy of colonialism.

Policing the Ploughs

As Britain faced the prospect of food shortages in 1917, panic mounted. One solution was to redeploy policemen to plough the land.

Kingdoms Come Apart

The path to Britain’s Civil Wars of the 17th century was paved in the three very different realms of England, Scotland and Ireland. But it was in the richest and most populous of these that crisis escalated into conflict.