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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee