the Renaissance

This radical Nativity is also one of the great whodunnits of art history

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Martin Gayford on a radical Nativity that is the subject of one of the great whodunnits of art history

Portrait of Dante in Giotto’s fresco in the Podestà Chapel, the Bargello, Florence

The secrets of Dante’s marriage

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Unlike Shakespeare, who kept himself out of all his works, except the Sonnets, Dante was endlessly reworking his autobiography, even…

A Russian barber cuts off the beard of an Old Believer. In 1705, as part of his ruthless campaign of modernisation, Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards of up to 100 roubles

Why do men grow beards?

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The ocean that Christopher Oldstone-Moore has set out to chart is as broad as it is shallow: what it has…

The sacrifice of Iphigenia: Agamemnon’s crime was ‘impious’, according to Lucretius

What did the ancient Greeks believe?

27 February 2016 9:00 am

It is a curious fact that the modern Hebrew for ‘atheist’, Tim Whitmarsh notes in passing, is apikoros. The word…