History Today

High in the Himalayas there is a parasitic fungus that grows out of the body of small caterpillars and is worth more than its weight in gold....

The idea of public history, in which academics seek to address a wider audience, is considered to be a modern one, but, discovers Eleanor Parker, a form of it was practised during the Middle Ages.  

When Mao Zedong died, he was not buried, but displayed in a glass sarcophagus. Next, people across the country, from party leaders to villagers, ‘...

The first day of the Somme has become synonomous with incompetent leadership and a callous disregard for human life. Gary Sheffield offers a more complex picture of the battle and the role played by General Sir Douglas Haig.

It comes in many forms and often disappoints, yet democracy has come to be regarded as the most desirable of all political systems. Paul Cartledge offers a guide to its roots in ancient Greece and reminds us of its long absence in the West.

The desert city of Palmyra, ravaged recently by ISIS, held a key position on the Silk Route, connecting the Chinese, Persian and Roman Empires. Raoul McLaughlin describes how a remote caravan settlement assumed a leading role in international affairs, generating enormous wealth. 

Kate Wiles introduces a map highlighting the diversity of indigenous tribes that was in danger of being lost.

Though many writers, film-makers and other artists found it difficult to work in Fascist Italy, modernist architecture flourished under the less than watchful gaze of Mussolini. Jonathan Meades wonders why.

In his 2014 radio series, Germany: Memories of a Nation...

In April 2002, Robert Knecht wrote an article about his quest to find Napoleonic treasure. Now, suspecting the letter which prompted it might be a hoax, he revisits the evidence.