Biblical laws can be understood only in their ancient context.
Stefano Madrigali/Collection Moment via Getty Images
A scholar who studies biblical texts explains how the Bible, its laws, and ancient debates were set within a complex vision of society at that time.
Ancient military innovations – like the bit and bridle that enabled mounted horseback riding – changed the course of history.
Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin/British Museum via WikimediaCommons
Did ancient technological advancements drive social innovation, or vice versa? Studying cause and effect in the ancient world may seem like a fool’s errand, but researchers built a database to do just that.
An image of the monk John Chrysostom preaching in Constantinople in the 4th century.
Alamy/From Hutchinson's History of the Nations
Voices on the extremes don’t represent society.
Roman burial shackles found on the skeleton in Great Casterton.
The Atlantic slave trade isn’t Britain’s first brush with forced labour.
A medieval tapestry, which shows John, the Dragon and the Beast of the Sea.
Kimon Berlin, user:Gribeco, via Wikimedia Commons
Some fringe conspiracy theorists are connecting COVID-19 vaccines to the mark of the beast. A religion scholar explains why the biblical reference should be considered in its first-century context.
Medieval Christians believed that heaven was a realm filled with dancing. Italian painter Fra Angelico’s ‘Last Judgment’ showing dancing angels.
Fra Angelico's Last Judgment/Wikimedia
Despite opposition from the early church, dance was an integral part of Christian devotion for many centuries before falling out of favor.
Army chaplain Emil Kapaun helps a soldier on the battlefield during the Korean War in 1952.
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
In early Christianity, soldiers could be baptized only if they refused to kill other human beings. While this changed over the years, tensions linger over Christian goals.
Lent is a period of fasting and reflection for many Chistians.
Pascal Deloche/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
The 40-day Lenten season, when many Christians observe fasting, began in mid-February. A scholar explains how the practice may have emerged around the fifth century.
A 19th-century engraving depicts the Angel of Death descending on Rome during the Antonine plague.
J.G. Levasseur/Wellcome Collection
Societies and cultures that seem ossified and entrenched can be completely upended by pandemics, which create openings for conquest, innovation and social change.
The death of Caesar.
New research suggests ancient climate change shaped the fate of western civilisation.
US president, Donald Trump, brandishing a Bible outside St John’s Episcopal Church in Washington DC on June 1, 2020.
The history of early Christianity shows the power of the Bible used as a sign of resistance against repression at the hands of the Romans.
Through archaeological studies of architecture, excavated trade goods, and ecofacts we can trace globalisation back thousands of years.
Marc Antony, left, offers Julius Caesar a crown; Caesar refuses.
With much public discussion of President Donald Trump as, potentially, a king, a scholar of Roman history and rhetoric sees 2,000-year-old parallels.
The British prime minister is fond of a common form of political rhetoric especially loved by the Romans: the promise of a ‘new age’.
The pagans paved the way for our modern festivities.
Daenerys Targaryen as portrayed by actress Emilia Clarke.
Although the universe of “Game of Thrones” evokes the medieval era, several key figures in the series are directly inspired by characters from Roman antiquity.
The world’s newest country?
With the launch of the Libra cryptocurrency, Mark Zuckerberg reveals his dreams of building a new virtual country, perhaps inspired by the Roman Empire.
The death of popular prince Germanicus painted by Nicolas Poussin in 1627.
Tacitus’ Annals is a powerful and darkly humorous examination of imperial Rome. Though his work was little read in the Roman world, it has influenced great thinkers such as Hobbes and Montesquieu.
Following the recent revelations about sex abuse, many Christian communities are facing a crisis of trust.
AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis
In the fourth century, Christian churches in North Africa faced a crisis of trust. A separate church of the Donatists emerged that lasted for centuries.
A person dressed as Santa Claus waves as part of the festivities, during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
Behind today’s mythical Santa Claus from the North Pole, is a real saint – St. Nicholas. How he came to be today’s gift-giving jolly figure from the North Pole is a fascinating story by itself.