The disastrous explosion in Beirut has prompted calls for French intervention in Lebanon. But the history of France’s involvement in the region has been driven by the creation of proxy elites and the pursuit of its own interests.
Miscellanies is History Today's free weekly long read. Every Thursday, we publish a specially commissioned essay or long read from our archive. The subject? History. As the name suggests, we can’t be more specific…
Belarus’ history has been a series of false starts, but the recent uprisings against Alexander Lukashenko suggest a new chapter is imminent.
Before the harmful effects of radiation were acknowledged, the beauty industry sold radium as ‘liquid sunshine’. Marie Skłodowska Curie’s death would change that.
The tension between Oman’s outward-looking coastal regions and its religious interior came to a head in the 20th century. Would the country be governed by sultan or imam?
In the 18th century, new scientific ideas meant new thinking about what it meant to be male and female. As everything became gendered, anxieties proliferated.
The Siege of Leningrad imposed horrific conditions on its residents, severe food shortages among them. Remarkably, many of the animals in the city’s zoo survived.
After decades of turmoil, in 1181 Jayavarman VII restored order to the Angkor Empire by embracing Buddhism and introducing an unprecedented public healthcare programme.
Life and death in a Viking battle depended not on military prowess, but on the favour of the valkyries. Why were these mythical figures, who decided a warrior’s fate, female?
In 1805, a lady’s maid from Cork visited the palace of a Russian princess and inadvertently became one of the first published Irish writers on Russia.
The small island of Bornholm gave Stalin a Danish foothold at the end of the Second World War. Why did he give it up?