Roman Empire

As Senator Rand Paul completes a 6-hour speech, are filibusters

If you've ever seen the 1939 classic, Mr Smith Goes To Washington, you'll know what a filibuster is. The parliamentary procedure, where a member attempts to "talk out" a bill by giving a speech so long it delays the vote has been practiced since Ancient Rome, when senator Cato the Younger was notorious for blocking legislation by speaking until dusk, at which point Senate rules required all business to be concluded. 

Ibsen's 'Emperor and Galilean': a lost classic

At several points in his life, Henrik Ibsen described Emperor and Galilean, the vast historical drama that he wrote between 1868 and 1873, as his "main work", or most important play. It is, therefore, an astonishing fact that the piece is so little known and has never been staged in English. My new adaptation of the play will give audiences the chance to experience the extraordinary power of this epic piece of theatre.

The Timeline: Political siblings

Fraternal amity is not a condition necessarily associated with the Roman Empire in its latter days, though the Gracchus brothers do seem to have held each other in high regard. Both tribunes of the Republic and both possessed of "eloquence sufficient to make the less creditable plausible", as Plutarch has it, their campaign on behalf of Rome's down-trodden alienated the senatorial elite and led to their end. Tiberius was slain with a foot stool by a Senator with a gripe. His brother Gaius committed suicide on the point of his personal slave's sword.

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

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.

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Top ten passions of Ancient Rome

By the time of the emperors, the Romans had created the world’s first global empire stretching from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east, and from Scotland in the north to Egypt in the south.

Cheques to be phased out by 2018

Some 350 years after one Nicholas Van Acker changed banking history by wielding his quill and writing on an oblong-shaped piece of paper an order to pay a Mr Delboe £400, the death knell was today sounded on the great monetary institution that is the cheque.