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Roman Empire

Remnants from a probable statue of Demetrius the Besieger, c.300 BC. Courtesy American School of Classical Studies at Athens: Agora Excavations.

In the ancient world, statues were not symbols of virtue and could take revenge on those who attacked them.

Ben Jones

As human populations expand and their exploitation of the globe increases, so does their vulnerability to certain diseases.

Erotic fresco from the lupanar, Pompeii, first century AD. Photo by Frédéric Soltan © Getty Images

The largest of Pompeii's legalised Lupanars is the only surviving ‘purpose-built’ Roman brothel.

The Battle of the Casino dei Quattro Venti During the Siege of Rome, by Carl Friedrich Heinrich, 1849 © Bridgeman Images

The little-known republic was a short-lived experiment in constitutional democracy.

'Finding of the Sibylline Books and the Tomb of Numa Pompilius', workshop  of Giulio Romano with Polidoro Caldara da Caravaggio, c.1524-25 © Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rome

Antiquities were high stakes and high profit in 16th-century Rome, and no one was above breaking the law for loot.

‘Oh, my fur and whiskers!’:  a hare or rabbit mosaic, from the House of Dionysus, Cyprus, third century AD © Bridgeman Images

Not content with bringing aqueducts, sanitation and roads, the Romans transformed Britain’s flora and fauna.

The Death of Caesar, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1867 © akg-images

A vivid portrait of one of history’s most momentous conspiracies.

Pliny the Younger, 19th-century engraving.

What was it like for a Roman to encounter a Christian for the first time? As the Empire reached its greatest extent, Pliny the Younger found himself face-to-face with members of the new religious group.

The struggle for control of the straits dividing Sicily from southern Italy brought the two great empires of the Mediterranean, Carthage and Rome, head to head. It was a world in which ruthless mercenaries prospered.

Sculpture of Agrippina crowning her young son Nero (c. 54–59 AD)

On the women who made imperial Rome.