Voices

If he had been just a kindly chap, nobody outside his family would have noticed

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: The missing contribution to the great debate of our age

Anyone who saw the Hollywood movie Gladiator will remember its villain: the demented young Roman emperor Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix. The most vivid historical picture we have of Commodus is by Edward Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; Gibbon hated him because he felt it was with Commodus that the Roman rot set in, after four emperors who had ruled wisely and well, the last being Commodus's own philosopher-father, Marcus Aurelius.

Lie back and think of Genghis: Conn Iggulden reveals the inspirations behind his historical fiction

The best thing about writing historical fiction is that the story has already been told. All Conn Iggulden – the bestselling author of 'The Dangerous Book for Boys' – has to do is imagine the gory details...

Somerset haul of coins is declared treasure

A metal detecting enthusiast who found one of the largest hoards of Roman coins in Britain was hoping for a substantial reward yesterday after his find was officially declared to be treasure.

Top 10 clues to the real King Arthur

The King Arthur we know is one of romance, ephemera and myth. But is he real? Arthur has been in and out of fashion more than denim: one year his veracity is being argued by every archaeologist in Britain, the next he's ignored or derided.

The Empire Stops Here, By Philip Parker

This huge, learned and continuously fascinating guide to the periphery of the Roman Empire, "lands that promised victory, booty and glory", starts close to home with Hadrian's Wall, whose troops "represented the Roman military machine at its peak of effectiveness".

Nemesis, By Lindsey Davis<br />Falco: The Official Companion, By Lindsey Davis

Marcus Didius Falco, that light-footed private eye who makes his chancy way through the patrician villas and noxious alleyways of ancient Rome, first saw the light of day in 1989, in The Silver Pigs, where he ventured to that mist-ridden offshore island of Britannia. The ingredients of the Falco series were established right at the start: as well as convincing historical detail, the novels include surprising murders, a good deal of cynical joshing on the part of the ancient gumsandal and a bold, independent woman who manages to keep him on some sort of rein. When the series started, Falco was unique in detective fiction, but as the books gathered fans, other authors tried their hands at the classical setting.

World's best-preserved gladiatorial relics are discovered in the suburbs of York

Eighty skeletons &ndash; including one apparently killed by a large carnivore &ndash; found close to city centre

Pompeii's X-rated art will titillate a new generation

Pompeii's saucy heyday might be a little behind it but the ancient city's power to intrigue, delight and even titillate remains intact – as proved by the hundreds of visitors queuing this weekend for an adults-only viewing of its most-erotic artwork.

Party Of The Week: Clash of the Titans bash ushers in the summer season

Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton, who plays a spiritual guide in the 3D epic Clash of the Titans, was spectacularly busy on Monday night. After signing autographs on the red carpet for the film's world premiere in London, she dashed off to perform in her West End show, The Little Dog Laughed, at the Garrick Theatre down the road. She missed out on watching the film but returned in time for the after party, held at the chic restaurant and bar, Aqua London, housed in the former Dickens & Jones department store on Regent Street.

The best historical pranks and hoaxes

Emperor Constantine had a splendid sense of humour for a Roman, but he couldn't stand criticism. When in the fifth century one of his court jesters boasted that fools and jesters of the court could rule the empire better than the Emperor himself, Constantine decreed that the fools would get their chance at proving this claim.

Lava bread, anyone? Pompeii snack bar rises from the ashes after 2,000 years

The Roman 'thermopolium' destroyed by Mt Vesuvius in AD79 has been restored. Michael Day reports

Hadrian's Wall in giant light show

On Saturday over 25,000 people visited Hadrian's Wall, packing every rolling hillside, car park and vantage spot to see in a huge illumination ceremony organised by Hadrian’s Wall Heritage.

Cracking the codex: Long lost Roman legal document discovered

Dr Simon Corcoran and Dr Benet Salway of the history department at University College London have found fragments of an important Roman law code that previously had been thought lost forever.

British film-makers uncover Trajan's hidden Roman aqueduct

Two British film-makers have discovered what they believe to be the source of the 1,900-year old aqueduct built by the emperor Trajan in the early second century AD.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral