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Mosaic from Hagia Sofia depicting Constantine I with a representation of the city of Constantinople

Though the beginnings of the Byzantine Empire are unclear, its demise is not. The history of the Eastern Roman Empire, from its foundation in 324 to its conquest in 1453, is one of war, plague, architectural triumphs and fear of God's wrath.

A trade caravan passing the Isle of Graia in the Gulf of Akabah, Arabia Petraea, 1839.

The origins of globalisation can be found in the deep past.

Revolting: members of the CRS throw grenades during student riots in Paris, 1968.

France’s elite police unit is being compared to the SS – not for the first time.

Sushi.

The Japanese dish of humble origins that conquered the world. 

Having a laugh: an English family at morning tea in Simla, India, 1871.

The promise of exotic thrills in distant lands built up expectations which inevitably collided with a mundane reality.

Bran Castle, March 2013.

Bram Stoker’s novel was a mixed blessing for Romania. It attracted tourists, but the legend was at odds with communist ideals and made a villain of a national hero.

Travels Through Time The Debate Of Socrates And Aspasia

In this episode meet Socrates and Aspasia: the philosopher who changed the way we think about the world and the woman who changed him.

‘I’d be disappointed if I didn’t meet Emperor Claudius in the afterlife.’

Safe haven: Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Tiber Island, Rome, 2019.

In one Italian hospital, an invented disease helped save hundreds from the occupying Nazis.

George Marshall defends his European Recovery Programme before the Senate.

Britain received more Marshall aid than Germany, but spent much of it propping up a delusion.