European state-formation would have looked very different if rulers did not constantly have to negotiate with a strong clergy, independent townsmen, and the nobility over, inter alia, the wherewithal for warfare, succession and public peace. But the medieval Church shaped European societies in other ways than this. It was the one institution of late antiquity that survived the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century, and it carried the torch of the Roman world after the Empire collapsed.
Discovering the provenance of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi formed a significant part of the book that I co-authored with Margaret Dalivalle and Martin Kemp. Determining which records and references pertained to the original and which to the many copies and derivations of the painting required the unraveling of dozens of documentary threads, intertwined and occasionally knotted, stretching across the centuries.
Adrastos Omissi argues that the collapse of the West Roman Empire in the fifth century AD was caused not, primarily, by invasions of external “barbarians” from Germanic Europe, but was rather a product of the endemic civil wars that sprang up in the Roman Empire from the third century AD onwards.
Throughout Europe reaction to the March on Rome was, inevitably, mixed, with some appalled by the violence and the total disregard the fascists showed for parliamentary politics, while others—such as those among British conservative opinion—thought that the fascist government would bring much-needed “order” to what they condescendingly saw as typically Mediterranean chaos. Many right-wing European politicians looked on Mussolini and to his mode of achieving power with admiration. One man in particular was greatly impressed by the March on Rome and even hoped to emulate it. This was Adolf Hitler.
In November 1914, when Benito Mussolini, then prominent as a revolutionary socialist, tried to mobilize popular opinion for Italy to intervene in World War I, he gave the name “Autonomous Fasci of Revolutionary Action” to his disparate supporters. The term “fascio” (plural “fasci”) was then common in Italy’s political lexicon, in its core meaning of “bundle”, to denote a loosely-organized group grounded in a common ideology.
This October marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tense political and military standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. To mark the anniversary, we’re sharing some of our latest history titles on the Cold War for you to explore, share, and enjoy. We have also granted free access to selected chapters, for a limited time, for you to dip into.
Here are 10 books that we recommend if you want to learn something new about Germany’s past, but don’t know where to begin.
Did “Ancient Greece” exist? Are all Epicureans decadent dandies? What do we really know about Alexander the Great? Explore the people, places, and philosophies of the Classical world through these four podcast episodes from the expert authors of our Very Short Introductions series.
Tom Sapsford discusses the “kinaidos”: a type of person noted in ancient literature for his effeminacy and untoward sexual behaviour. Some scholars think he was perhaps an imaginary figure, but Sapsford looks into financial records, letters, and temples that complicate our understanding of this figure.
Simon Huxtable explores the history of Russian journalism in the Soviet Union and asks how, or whether, it compares to the situation of Russian journalists after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
How does a country choose what to commemorate? What elevated the victory of 18 June 1815 over other great British victories in the previous quarter century of war?
In the last of our essays, we discuss the unexpected outcome of the legislative elections and look back on the electoral cycle as a whole. What does French politics look like after a series of fractious campaigns? And do the results offer any hope for the future?
The word privilege is a lightning rod in United States culture. For some, it indexes systemic inequities shaped by race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality, while for others, it represents a “woke” vocabulary used to enforce political correctness. Perhaps unsurprisingly, accusations of privilege have reached the classical music world.
Shot through the neck, choking on his own blood with his beloved wife dying beside him, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Habsburg Empire, managed a few words before losing consciousness: “It’s nothing,” he repeatedly said of his fatal wound. It was 28 June 1914, in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted a curious disconnect between the supposed ideological objective of the war and the means used to achieve it.
After the Fall of France in 1940, historian Marc Bloch famously spoke of France’s “strange defeat” by Germany. Emmanuel Macron’s victory on April 24 might just as appropriately be called a “strange victory”.