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By Kate Wiles

Kate Wiles introduces a map highlighting the diversity of indigenous tribes that was in danger of being lost.

The first official photograph of a British tank in action, Flers-Courcelette, September 15th, 1916

By Gary Sheffield

The first day of the Somme has become synonomous with incompetent leadership and a callous disregard for human life. Gary Sheffield offers a more complex picture of the battle and the role played by General Sir Douglas Haig.

The Athenian Agora, fifth century BC

By Paul Cartledge

It comes in many forms and often disappoints, yet democracy has come to be regarded as the most desirable of all political systems. Paul Cartledge offers a guide to its roots in ancient Greece and reminds us of its long absence in the West.

The Temple of Bel, 2001

By Raoul McLaughlin

The desert city of Palmyra, ravaged recently by ISIS, held a key position on the Silk Route, connecting the Chinese, Persian and Roman Empires. Raoul McLaughlin describes how a remote caravan settlement assumed a leading...

‘The Battle Of Dorking’, from Blackwood's Magazine, May 1871 by George Tomkyns Chesney.

By Christian Melby

A recent book warns that current events will lead to war between NATO and Russia. It follows in a long tradition of military writers prophesying that weakness at home will lead to invasion and war.

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The Palazzo della Civia Italiana, part of the EUR complex in Rome and now home to the fashion house Fendi

By Jonathan Meades

Though many writers, film-makers and other artists found it difficult to work in Fascist Italy, modernist architecture flourished under the less than watchful gaze of Mussolini. Jonathan Meades wonders why.

Napoleon Bonaparte Before the Sphinx, (ca. 1868) by Jean-Léon Gérôme,

By Robert Knecht

In April 2002, Robert Knecht wrote an article about his quest to find Napoleonic treasure. Now, suspecting the letter which prompted it might be a hoax, he revisits the evidence.

 More details The Rus under the walls of Tsargrad. Detail from a medieval Russian icon.

By Peter Frankopan

Russian hooligans at a football match might be a relative novelty, but there is nothing new under the sun.

Flight of fancy: Louis XVI and his family attempt to flee Paris. French caricature, 1792

By Richard Cavendish

The royal flight to Varennes took place on June 20th, 1791.

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