Voices

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

Thumbs up for a tale of blood, sweat and spears

Gladiator (15) | Director: Ridley Scott | Starring: Russell Crowe,Joaquin Pheonix, Richard Harris, Connie Nielsen; 150 mins

Cheapest seats at Opera House `doubled in price'

DOUBTS ARE being cast on the Royal Opera House's boast that it has reduced ticket prices for its reopening as "the people's opera".

Letter: No one elected

Sir: In view of the chaotic state of the selection processes in both major political parties, can we not follow the example of the Roman emperor Caligula in choosing a mayor for London?

Letter: Price of opera

Sir: Both Diane Sturch (letter, 10 November) and Roger Guedalla (12 November) are right about seat prices at the Royal Opera House; it depends on one's needs. Most people would like seats with completely unrestricted views, but to guarantee this for all performances of Romeo et Juliette one would have to ask for seats in the pounds 100 price band! Most but not all of the cheaper seats in the amphitheatre centre (pounds 70) and in the amphitheatre rear, Ms Sturch's "back of the gods", (pounds 50) would also give this. Anything cheaper, except some standing places, would not.

Thieves steal a Roman column

THIEVES MADE off with the remains of an ancient Roman column weighing 220lb (100kg) and nearly 3ft tall, Italian news reports said yesterday.

Edinburgh: Sex, pies and hideous taste

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Books: Pick of the week - Iain Banks Tue Freuds Cafe, Walton St, Oxford

Iain Banks's first novel, The Wasp Factory, was almost a guidebook to grotesque sadism; his other "literary" novels, involving serial killers, random violence, dismemberment and assorted bizarre screwballs, offer similar extreme takes on the world.

Letter: A new era

Sir: The Roman Empire collapsed over fifteen hundred years ago. By contrast the Christian faith is followed by about two billion people around the world and continues to grow, often in the midst of persecution.

Books: Dark doings in ancient Rome

Tuesday Books: ONE VIRGIN TOO MANY, BY LINDSEY DAVIS, CENTURY, pounds 15.99 RUBICON BY STEVEN SAYLOR, ROBINSON, pounds 15.99 THE GERMANICUS MOSAIC BY ROSEMARY ROWE, HEADLINE, pounds 17.99

History teaches us that history can't always teach us

Is there any precedent for these Nato raids? I think there is, and I think it is in my own house

The Sketch: A lesson from the man with a trolley full of principles

THERE IS something magnificently senatorial about Tam Dalyell. Not the grey cardigan, nor the green foam cushion that he lays on the benches before sitting down, both of which give him a faintly eccentric air, as if he might enter the chamber one day pushing a supermarket trolley loaded with old clothes and embarrassing documents.

Letter: No Year Zero

Sir: It is frequently but falsely claimed that Dionysius Exiguus failed to put a "year 0" between 1BC and AD1 because the concept of zero didn't exist in European mathematics at the time when he lived, in the sixth century of the era he invented (letter, 11 January).

The lie-in and the unicorn

Love And Peace With Melody Paradise by Martin Millar IMP Fiction pounds 6.99

Words: Testimony, n.

PRESIDENT CLINTON's interrogation last week by the Spermfinder General brings irresistibly to mind a neat but dubious theory concerning an alleged link between the words testimony and testicle. As many collections of trivial information tell us, ancient Roman males, when taking an oath in court, would grasp the region of their nether appendages to attest to the truth of their evidence. That, they say, is what gave us the words testify and testimony.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition