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. 

Ancient sanctuary dedicated to Mithras discovered in France

Archaeologists excavating at Angers, France, have discovered the remains of a temple dedicated to the Indo-Iranian god Mithras. The small, rectangular chapel, in which worshippers gathered for banquets and sacrifices dedicated to the god, is dated to the third century AD.

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.

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.

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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.