History

What does ownership of land really mean?

13 February 2021 9:00 am

At the end of the last century, Simon Winchester bought 123 acres of wooded mountainside in the hamlet of Wassaic,…

What Pliny the Elder and David Attenborough have in common

13 February 2021 9:00 am

When it comes to natural history, Sir David Attenborough rules the airwaves. Pliny the Elder (d. ad 79) who, as…

Is the past being rewritten in LGBT+ history month?

7 February 2021 7:04 pm

Did you know that February is LGBT+ history month? If you have a ‘progressive’ employer you probably do. Banks, universities, local councils,…

After three centuries, we need a museum of British premiership

30 January 2021 9:00 am

Why we need a museum of British premiership

The ancients were defined by actions, not attributes

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Diversity is ‘about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion,…

My historical re-enactment group’s battle with Silicon Valley

23 January 2021 9:00 am

The Wimborne Militia of Dorset prides itself on being the only formally commissioned ‘private army’ in England. We’re well known…

The ancient belief in the power of words to protect us

16 January 2021 9:00 am

In his 37-book Natural History, Pliny the Elder (d. ad 79) wondered why we wished people ‘Happy new year’ (primum…

The Greeks wouldn’t have accepted Cambridge’s ‘respect’ policy either

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Professor Toope, the vice-chancellor of Cambridge university, had proposed a motion ordering all members of the university to ‘respect’ each…

The Enlightenment was a many-splendoured thing

19 December 2020 9:00 am

History used to be so much easier. There were the Wars of the Roses, then the Reformation, the Civil War,…

The world’s greatest podcast: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History reviewed

12 December 2020 9:00 am

It’s well known that you should never meet your heroes because they will only disappoint you. Less commonly said, but…

Will we end up with a Paphlagonian Brexit deal?

5 December 2020 9:00 am

Freed from the bonds of the European Union, Britain is now in a position to sign whatever trade deal it…

Why I stopped reading novels

5 December 2020 9:00 am

New York I received a letter from a long-time Spectatorreader, James Hackett, enquiring about books I am reading. It is…

Modern historians take a Roman approach to history – whether they admit it or not

28 November 2020 9:00 am

To what use does one put history? Romans thought it provided ‘lessons’. Modern historians rather sniff at the idea, but…

The shocking story of Charles and Mary Lamb: Slightly Foxed podcast reviewed

7 November 2020 9:00 am

The Slightly Foxed podcast, like the quarterly and old bookshop of the same name, is almost muskily lovely. It’s the…

A toast to Tim Beardson

31 October 2020 9:00 am

I am in an Eliot mood, not a Keatsian one. ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is a surprisingly… mellow…

The National Archives are making historians history

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Restrictions on the National Archives are a disaster for historians

The myth of the ‘stolen country’

26 September 2020 9:00 am

The myth of the ‘stolen country’

fascism

Fascism: the most abused term in America

25 September 2020 5:34 am

A well-dressed young man walks down the Potsdamer Straße in Berlin, days before the end of March in 1933. He’s…

new world

The myth of the ‘stolen country’

24 September 2020 1:23 pm

Last month, in the middle of the COVID panic, a group of freshmen at the University of Connecticut were welcomed…

1776

1619, 1776 and all that

23 September 2020 11:35 pm

Friday’s news that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died after her long battle with cancer has briefly pushed most other topics…

City of dazzling mosaics: the golden age of Ravenna

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Ian Thomson describes Ravenna’s golden age, when classical Rome, Byzantium and Christianity met

What would it mean to ‘decolonise’ the Classics?

18 July 2020 9:00 am

Can the Classics escape the grip of their past?

We’re making a spectacle of shame

11 July 2020 9:00 am

When I was about ten, on return home from church I ate a peach, the juice of which dribbled down…

Does the curriculum really need ‘decolonising’?

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Layla Moran, the Lib Dems’ education spokesman, has written to Gavin Williamson urging him to do something about ‘systemic racism’…

To understand the past, you need to inhabit it for a while

4 July 2020 9:00 am

‘It’s no go my honey love, it’s no go my poppet; Work your hands from day to day, the winds…