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BBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine

July 2021
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BBC History Magazine aims to shed new light on the past to help you make more sense of the world today. Fascinating stories from contributors are the leading experts in their fields, so whether they're exploring Ancient Egypt, Tudor England or the Second World War, you'll be reading the latest, most thought-provoking historical research. BBC History Magazine brings history to life with informative, lively and entertaining features written by the world's leading historians and journalists and is a captivating read for anyone who's interested in the past.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

JULY 2021 “Every crisis brings opportunities. While many businesses have struggled or collapsed during the Covid-19 pandemic, others have been able to adapt and thrive in the changing economic landscape. It was just the same during the Black Death of the 14th century. Amid the great suffering and hardship, there were merchants who took advantage of the chaos and disruption to earn huge profits – to the horror of some of those around them. In this month’s cover feature, on page 20, medieval historian Robert Blackmore explains how fortunes were made in the darkest of days. His piece is followed by an interview with Niall Ferguson (page 29), exploring how societies have responded to pandemics and other catastrophes over the millennia. One catastrophe that thankfully didn’t come to pass is a nuclear…

1 min.
this issue’s contributors

Alice Roberts It’s extraordinary how much we can tell about prehistoric Britain, with only a few pieces of evidence to draw on. I look at the very first burial found in Britain, the Red Lady of Paviland, which takes us back more than 30,000 years. Alice reveals the secrets we can learn about prehistoric Britain through burial sites on page 78 Robert Blackmore Whether lived through or studied, with the 14th century you cannot avoid the Black Death. Though a human catastrophe, its economic effects were unpredictable, and I found that merchants could be winners as well as losers. Robert investigates the merchants who made a fortune during the deadly medieval epidemic on page 20 Souvik Naha As a historian of modern south Asia and the British empire, I use cricket as a lens for understanding themes…

1 min.
more from us

historyextra.com The website of BBC History Magazine is filled with exciting content on British and world history. For more information on the content in this issue, go to historyextra.com/july2021 The History Extra podcast Released up to seven times a week, the podcast has recently topped 100 million downloads. Download episodes for free from iTunes and other providers, or via historyextra.com/podcast Our digital editions BBC History Magazine is available for the Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad/iPhone, Google Play and Zinio. Find us in your app store or visit historyextra.com/subscribe Our special editions Discover our range of collector’s editions at buysubscriptions.com/special-editions/history Social Media @historyextra historyextra @historyextra Contact us PHONE Subscriptions & back issues 03330 162115 Editorial 0117 300 8699 EMAIL Subscriptions & back issues www.buysubscriptions.com/contactus Editorial historymagazine@historyextra.com POST Subscriptions & back issues BBC History Magazine, PO Box 3320, 3 Queensbridge, Northampton, NN4 7BF. Basic annual subscription rates: UK: £48, Eire/Europe:…

1 min.
this month in history

EYE-OPENER Surprise discovery These images show, from left to right, an Egyptian coffin held at Poland’s National Museum in Warsaw; the mummy it contained; and, finally, an X-ray revealing the body to be that of a woman in the seventh month of her pregnancy, who probably died during the first century BC. It’s the only known example of a mummified pregnant woman. The find was also surprising because an inscription on the coffin holding the mummy named its occupant as a male priest. Have a story? Please email Matt Elton at matt.elton@immediate.co.uk…

2 min.
talking points class dismissed

“Studying history should not be only for the elite, say academics.” So read the headline of a recent article in The Guardian, as several historians responded to the news that two universities – Aston in Birmingham and London South Bank – would be cutting their history degrees. The institutions have faced government pressure to focus on perceived “high-value” STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] and vocational courses that typically produce graduates who earn higher salaries. Moreover, with the removal of restrictions on student numbers at British universities, Russell Group institutions at the elite end of the sector are taking on more and more students, leaving some younger universities struggling to recruit. As might be expected, Twitter users had much to say on the subject. Head of history at Aston University, Ilaria…

1 min.
dead sea scroll authorship probed

Since their initial discovery in 1947 in caves in what’s now Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Dead Sea Scrolls – a set of ancient religious manuscripts, mostly in Hebrew and including the oldest known version of the Bible – have been a source of fascination. Now, the authors of a new study have employed artificial intelligence in an attempt to learn more about the scrolls’ origins. The team analysed digitised images of the “Isaiah Scroll”, the longest of approximately 950 known manuscripts. An algorithm was devised to separate the shape of the ink from its background and detect tiny differences across more than 5,000 instances of a single character – aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This technique was used to query a belief that, based on the high degree…