News A statue of Alexander the Great in the northern Greek city of Salonica. Scientists believe they may have solved the 2000 year old mystery of how the ruler died

A leading toxicologist has said that Alexander the Great may have died after drinking wine made from a poisonous plant that would have cause a slow and painful death

Podium: Knut Vollebaek: Modern conflicts and the legacy of ancient Greece

Taken from the Fridtjof Nansen Memorial Lecture, delivered by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Columns: A good idea from... Theophrastus

A FEW DAYS ago, I met a woman who told me, "I know someone just like you." "Really," I said (offended). "How do you mean, just like me?" "Well, you know, little hair, a bit gauche, into books. He even wears a big grey coat like yours in winter. It's uncanny." This kind of thing should make one happy. It should be lovely to hear that there is a near clone out there, a soulmate, someone to talk to and go clothes shopping with. But, in actuality, it can be quite horrible, given the strength of our desire to feel special, different, unique.

Numbers: 20

Bubble gum dispenser, Nottingham

Historical notes: The Elgin marbles were never whiter than white

"IN THE history of mankind, Greece will eternally remain the place where mankind experienced its fairest youth and bridal beauty . . . noble youth with fair anointed limbs, favourite of all the graces, victor in Olympia and all the other games, spirit and body together, one single flower in bloom."

Dance: Chaucer is jigging in his grave

Rambert: God's Plenty Palace Theatre, Manchester Sara Baras Sadler's Wells, London

Books: Nietzsche and Plato got it all wrong

In the Dark Places of Wisdom by Peter Kingsley Element pounds 12.99

Edinburgh Festival: Homer's where the art is

After 3,000, years the stories of the Trojan War are still gripping actors and audiences.

Edinburgh Festival `99: Fringe Theatre - The Cure at Troy

Oxford University Touring Company Over-Seas Hse, Venue 19, (0131-225 5105) 6.15pm, to 30 Aug

Theatre: No sex please, we're Ancient Greeks

LYSISTRATA

THEATRE: COMING ATTRACTIONS

Germaine Greer's comic skills were the toast of the Cambridge Footlights - and some would argue that feminism's gain has been the comedy world's great loss. Now she has managed to bring comedy and feminism together in her reworking of Aristophanes's Lysistrata, the play which shows women refusing to have sex with their men to stop them fighting a pointless war. Maybe if Monica Lewinsky had been brought up on this text, recent history would have been somewhat different. Remember, cynicism also started with the ancient Greeks.

RECORDS: JAZZ

Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble: Mnemosyne (ECM)

Football: Fame is all in the name

OUTSIDE EDGE

The treasure buried in ancient Acts

The idea that cultural treasure should be returned is not new. "We are the target, if that's the right word, of the most famous request of all," says Andrew Hamilton of the British Museum. He means the Elgin Marbles, a collection of ancient Greek sculptures and fragments brought from the Parthenon in 1801. They were the first authentic classical Greek sculpture to be displayed in London, where they caused a sensation. Unfortunately the Greek government does not accept that the original sale was legal, and has asked for them back. So far the answer has been a polite but firm refusal.
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

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Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003