Magic was an every day part of life in the Graeco-Roman empire.
John William Waterhouse
Across the Graeco-Roman Empire, the romantically challenged turned to magic to improve their chances
Your calendar dates back to Babylonian times.
The Babylonians' calendar was passed down from civilization to civilization.
Desiderius Erasmus, a Dutch humanist and theologian.
Martin Luther is credited with initiating the split in Christianity that came to be called the Protestant Reformation. But don't count out Erasmus, an early proponent of similarly radical ideas.
Tapping into ancient knowledge can help us feel connected to our ancestors – but that doesn't mean we should take their advice.
Roman mosaic from the Villa del Cicerone in Pompeii.
How Romans overcame their fear of witches by finding them funny.
What was behind early depictions of hell?
Hell-themed Halloween attractions play on people's fears. The early depictions of hell were meant to use fear as a moral guide to help others.
What happens next?
Destruction from The Course of Empire by Thomas Cole, 1836, via Wikimedia.
Once Britain slipped away from the Roman Empire in the early 5th century, signs of Roman life began to disappear.
© Museum of London
New research has rubbished perceptions of Roman Britain as a region inhabited solely by white Europeans.
Kelly Reilly as the Briton warrior Kerra in Britannia.
The new TV show Britannia dramatises the second Roman invasion of Britain. It captures the core elements of the story (despite inaccuracies) but recent archaeological finds offer thrilling insights into this time.
Wellcome Trust/Wikimedia Commons
At Ebbsfleet, in northeast Kent, archaeologists have finally uncovered the site where Julius Caesar's fleet landed in 54BC.
Walter Dendy Sadler via Wikimedia Commons
For those wondering whether it is sinful to drink, even moderately, a scholar goes into the history of alcohol and its distillation to show how early monks and priests contributed to it.
Halloween parade in New York.
AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
Everything you need to know about the history of Halloween.
A window on the past: the ruins of Lindisfarne priory off the Northumberland coast.
From the fall of the Romans to the Middle Ages, Britain was more prosperous when it fostered a relationship with Europe.
When Britain went it alone.
Centuries ago Britain attempted to sever ties with the continent – and it ended in murder.
Thankfully, defleshing bones has fallen out of fashion.
Brodie castle, north Scotland.
Albert de Bruijn
How medieval spires and snarling gargoyles went out of fashion and then made a spectacular return under – you guessed it – the Victorians.
A still from the new Ben-Hur.
Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Pictures Inc
Hollywood loves a Roman action film. And recent archaeological evidence offers fresh insight into the world of the hippodrome: from sprinklers to cool horses to a mosaic displaying the four phases of a chariot race.
Renaissance master Andrea Palladio designed Villa La Rotonda with rooms of various characters, which at night served as viewing boxes for fireworks displays in the surrounding landscape.
Might we enjoy our homes more if their rooms were characterised by their sense of loftiness or intimacy or cheerfulness or melancholy rather than lifeless labels such as 'media room' or 'home office'?
Peter Gertner Crucifixion Walters.
The sources offer an intriguing – and surprising – insight.
This could come to blows.
There's something every Scot should know about those caterwauling pipes.