Guardian

The story of a flea

In a review for The Guardian, Ian Pindar discusses a new book about bubonic plague: Justinian's Flea by William Rosen, an "impressive study of the bubonic plague and its impact on history."

Understanding of "distant past" key to modern civilization

Tom Holland, author of Rubicon and Persian Fire defends classical education in an article for Britain's The Guardian. Holland feels the study of the Greeks and Romans is necessary to understand modern democracy.

Latin and Greek are not dead

Cambridge Classics professor Mary Beard discusses the importance of the study of classical languages in an essay for the Guardian.

Cá Bhfuil Na Gaeilg eoirí?

Cá Bhfuil Na Gaeilg eoirí? (English translation: Where are all the Gaelic speakers?) Some are still in Ireland where 25% of the population claims to speak the language. Manchán Magan of the Guardian looks at the history of Gaelic and sets out on a trek to see who speaks it.

New translation of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" on BBC Radio 4

Unable to view the original manuscript of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the British Library, Simon Armitage decided to make his own translation. In an article for the Guardian, Armitage discusses the work and provides an excerpt.

War 2, Archaeology 0

Recent bombing and a resulting oil spill in Lebanon have damaged two World Heritage sites, says an inspection team from UNESCO. Roman remains at Tyre and a medieval tower at Byblos are in urgent need of repair.

World's Strongest Whiskey

A 300-year-old recipe for malt whiskey may produce the world's strongest single malt at 92 per cent. The drink is being produced at the Bruichladdich distillery on the west coast of Scotland.

Byzantine Discoveries Could Jeopardize Turkish Tunnel Plans

The recent discovery of the original port of Constantinople on the banks of the Bosporus may throw a monkey wrench into Turkey's ambitious plan to construct a UK£2 billion train tunnel linking Europe to Asia.

Fra Angelico One Step Closer to Sainthood

Fra Angelico was the model of a self-effacing medieval monk whose art was an expression of religion. Pope John Paul II beatified the 14th century monk, bringing him one step closer to sainthood, and his name and his genius are still celebrated 550 years later.

Mary Rose Figurehead Found

Alex Hildred, Excavation Director for the Mary Rose project, believes that they may have discovered the tudor rose figurehead for the ship. The paddle-shaped, decorative piece of oak was uncovered recently in a planned attempt to raise one of the ship's main beams.

The Shakespeare Code

Da Vinci wasn't alone. Now Shakespeare appears to have a "code", according to a new book Shadowplay by Clare Asquith.

Viking hoard found in Norway by five-year-olds

While playing in their yard, three five-year-old boys from northern Norway found a silver buckle and a necklace with a dragon motif that have surprised many archaeologists. The pieces are identified as Viking jewelry and date back to 800-900 CE.

New Research Project Planned for Stonehenge

A group of scientists has recommended that a new, comprehensive research project be launched to study Stonehenge. In Stonehenge: an Archaeological Research Framework, edited by Timothy Darvill of Bournemouth University, a plan is suggested to study the structure and its burial sites.

Medieval Charnal House Restored in English Basement

A 14th century English home, owned by a lawyer, has a secret in its basement: It is the final resting place of some 10,000 of London's dead.

Bronze Orpheus Might Point to Tomb

Archaeologists working on a site near the village of Tatul in Bulgaria are hoping that the discovery of a rare bronze statue of Orpheus might lead to the hero's tomb.

Wedding Jewel - Was Raphael Married?

A small pearl brooch in "La Fornarina" was the clue used by art historian Maurizio Bernardelli Curuz to suggest that Raphael and the woman long thought to be his mistress were actually secretly married.

17th Century Bathroom Discovered in Derbyshire

A 17th century "bathing room," possibly influenced by Sir William Cavendish, has been discovered in an abandoned outbuilding at Bolsover in Derbyshire, England.

English Heritage Tournament starts off with great spectacle.

Saturday the 14th of May 2005 saw a new Series of English Heritage Tournaments start in spectacular style with displays of archery, mounted skill at arms, falconry, foot combant and culminating in the always-magnificent joust.

Did Dante Discover Law of Motion Before Galileo?

In an article for Nature, Leonardo Ricci, of the University of Trento, writes that poet Dante Alighieri described the law of motion in physics 300 years before Galileo.

Books to be Removed from Bodleian Library

A renovation and modernization project at Oxford's Bodleian Library would see most of the 6 million books housed in the main building moved to other locations.

Archaeologists Butt Heads with Architects in Florence

Plans to expand the exhibit space of Florence's Uffizi Gallery have been thwarted by the discovery of the foundations of several medieval houses.

Stonehenge Construction Project Delayed

Controversial plans by the National Trust and English Heritage to route traffic away from Stonehenge have hit a snag. The British government has been strangely silent on the subject, leading officials to believe that the plans may have been abandoned.

"Around the World in 18 Games" Comes to Hadrian's Wall

Twenty tiny people are making a unique journey this year when the British Museum sends 20 of the historic Lewis Chessman north for a special exhibit of historic board games.

Enthusiasm for Film Epics May be Waning

The less-than-stellar performance of the latest Hollywood epics may mean that viewers' enthusiam for the genre may be waning.

Knights Templar Demand Apology

The grand master of the Knights Templar has sent a letter to the Vatican demanding an apology for persecution of the group during the 14th century.

Researchers find the real face of Father Christmas

According to forensic research conducted for a BBC2 documentary, "The Real Face of Santa," Saint Nicholas was short, olive-skinned and had a broken nose.

Anglo-Saxon Brain Surgery Re-writes History Books

Medical history may need to be re-written after the recent discovery of a skull which shows signs of complex surgery.

Arab Scholars First to Decipher Hieroglyphs

New research shows that Arab scholars cracked the secret of hieroglyphs 800 years before the discovery of the Rosetta stone.

Torlonia Marbles to be open to the public

A collection of more than 600 marble statues and tombs from the Roman period will once again be open to the public.

Mexican Wal-Mart Thought to Disturb Physic Balance of Ancient City

Protesters claim that the construction of a new grocery store near the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan will upset the "cosmic equilibrium" of the area.