World

While large swathes of Europe were still erecting single story buildings the peoples the Indus Valley and Egypt were carving out sophisticated societies, using technologies and reason to construct their settlements. In this section some of the great civilizations are examined using the evidence that has survived them to tell their fascinating stories and accomplishments Read more

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  • Sparta and war: myths and realities

    Article

    Stephen Hodkinson explains how images of ancient Sparta have been distorted and misused. On 15 April 2017, at a violent right-wing rally in Berkeley, California, some striking ancient Greek symbols were visible amidst the swastikas and ‘Make America Great Again’ hats. Several demonstrators wore replica ‘Corinthian’ helmets, as worn by...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Petra

    Article

    Ghislaine Headland-Vanni visits the ancient city of Petra, in Jordan. When you hear the word ‘Petra’ what images does the word conjure up for you? Maybe you have visited and know it already; if not, then like me you may not fully comprehend its size. I naively thought I could...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Erbil Citadel, Iraq

    Article

    Andy Reid reveals that enthusiasm for a particular historic site can develop over a number of years with more familiarity with the setting. Erbil Citadel is claimed to be the oldest continuously occupied human settlement in the world. The site is roughly circular, occupying a plateau about a quarter of...

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  • Lucy Hughes-Hallett on telling an HA branch about a book

    Article

    Dave Martin interviews the author of Cleopatra: histories, dreams and distortions, winner of the Fawcett Prize and the Emily Toth Award.

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  • The end of the Roman Empire

    Article

    Guy de la Bédoyère considers whether the Roman Empire ever really fell or simply went through endless processes of change that makes it an integral presence in our lives today. The fall of the Roman Empire is like the end of the dinosaurs. It’s one of the vast dramatic crisis moments we love...

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  • The Aztec Empire: a surprise ending?

    Article

    Matthew Restall explores current ideas about the end of the Aztec Empire. For an empire that existed half a millennium ago in a hemisphere far away, we have a remarkably clear sense of what brought the Aztecs down. Or at least, we think we do. Our general assumption is that the very nature of...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Hadrian’s Wall

    Article

    Choosing Hadrian’s Wall as one of my favourite places is a bit of a cheat, really, as it is a 73-mile-long (80 Roman miles) wall punctuated with a whole range of 20 individual sites each worth a visit; from mile castles and forts to desolate sections with fabulous views or...

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  • Reuse of the Past: A Case Study from the Ancient Maya

    Article

    The ruins of ancient settlements are dramatic and dominant features of the landscape today, and abandoned architecture and monuments were also significant features of the landscape in the ancient past. How did people interact with remnants of architecture and monuments built during earlier times? What meaningful information about the economic,...

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  • Ideas on the Shape, Size and Movements of the Earth - Pamphlet

    Article

    This classic pamphlet takes you through some of the key ideas on the shape, size and movements of the Earth as they changed over time from classical cosmology to the work of Galileo and Isaac Newton.

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  • Podcast Series: The Indus Valley Civilisation

    Multipage Article

    In this set of podcasts Dr Mark Manuel of the University of Durham looks at the Indus Valley Civilisation.

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  • How can there be a true history?

    Article

    "How can there be a true history, when we see no man living is able to write truly the history of the last week?" (Thomas Shadwell)Indeed! Once when I had to give a talk in Spain, I found this quotation by looking up ‘history' in the Oxford English Dictionary. The...

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  • HA Podcasted History: Ancient Persia

    Multipage Article

    In this series of podcasts Professor Thomas Harrison of the University of Liverpool examines the Persian Empire, life in ancient Persian society and the Greek-Persian War.

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  • The Undergrowth of History

    Article

    We can do all kinds of things with the past - examine it analytically, or question whether it ever existed, or churn it up inside ourselves until it turns into personal experience. We can dream it as we lounge amidst a heap of ruins, or petrify it into a museum;...

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  • Diagrams in History

    Article

    One of the gifts of the social sciences to history is the use of expository diagrams; but attention is rarely given to the history of diagrams. Maps - schematized representations of locations in spatial relation to one another - can be dated back to Babylonia in the late third millennium...

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  • Two Babies That Could Have Changed World History

    Article

    'At last have made wonderful discovery in Valley; a magnificent tomb with seals intact; re-covered same for your arrival. Congratulations.’ This telegram was sent from Luxor on the 6th November 1922 by Howard Carter to his coarchaeologist Lord Carnarvon in Britain. It started the Tut·ankh·Amen story which led to a...

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