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The Fable of Arachne  (The Weavers), by Diego Velázquez, c.1656-58,  Prado, Madrid © Luisa Ricciarini/Bridgeman Images.

A commentary on the plight of the artist, wrapped in a dramatic tale of rivalry between god and mortal.

Marble  bust of Mithridates VI, King of Pontus, Greece, 1st century BC © Bridgeman Images.

How the Black Sea shaped the ancient Mediterranean world.

Statue of Ahilyabai Holkar, Maharashtra, India. Alamy.

Ahilyabai Holkar, queen of the Malwa kingdom, died on 13 August 1795.

What was Roman Fever? When was the Black Panther party founded?

The Owl of Athena: Terracotta lekythos (oil flask) c. 490–480 BC. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Four historians consider the most fundamental question of all, one famously posed by E.H. Carr almost 60 years ago.

Police search a man following a drugs raid in Quarles Street, Washington, 19 July 1985. Linda Wheeler/The Washington Post/Getty Images.

The problem with community policing.

The Good being led to Heaven, detail from The Last Judgement, by Rogier van der Weyden, c.1451 © Bridgeman Images.

Views of the afterlife in early Christianity.

Cavalier attitudes: Royalists in a tavern, by Dirck Hals, 17th century © Johnny van Haeften / Bridgeman Images.

The opening of hairdressers and pubs has a strange historical resonance.

Women at a quilting bee. Lithograph, 1876 © Bridgeman Images.

Women, non-importation agreements and spinning bees in the American Revolution.

Ben Jones

The sinister reach of East Germany’s Ministry for State Security did not end in 1989. According to the British press, the Stasi is still with us.