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BBC History MagazineBBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine

October 2019

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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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13 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

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welcome

Why do people fight? Throughout history, armies have waged war for a wide variety of reasons: the need for security, the hunger for territory, the drive of ideology and the dream of glory. Sometimes, though, it’s all about the money. In this month’s cover feature, popular historian Dan Jones revisits the era of the crusades to consider whether the medieval holy warriors were motivated more by God or gold. You’ll find his article on page 20. The power of money is something we also need to factor in when considering the rise of the Nazis in 1930s Germany. Despite their ruthlessness, Hitler’s National Socialists did not seize control unaided, and owed much of their success to allies among the country’s wealthy conservative elite. To explore this story, I interviewed Dr Stephan…

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this issue’s contributors

Dan Jones My new book, Crusaders, explores how wealth, faith, piety and greed swirled together in the clashes between Christian and Muslim rulers during the Middle Ages. It’s my pleasure to give readers a taste of it here. Dan evaluates the lucrative business of war in the Holy Land on page 20 Estelle Paranque It was during my PhD that I became fascinated by the unexpected alliance between Elizabeth I and Henri III of France. I had to dig deeper, and finally discovered how complex and compelling their diplomatic relations were. Estelle relates the tale of an unlikely royal friendship on page 40 Tom Holland Jan Žižka – the one-eyed inventor of the tank – and his army of Taborites have always seemed to me the most fascinating of medieval heretics. They foreshadow so much: from the…

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renaissance relic revealed

Scientists and archaeologists have discovered the “astonishingly preserved” remains of a Renaissance-era ship at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Although the vessel was first detected by sonar in 2009, experts have only recently been able to capture images of the wreck, which still has its mast, hull, swivel guns and tender boat (used to ferry crew to and from the ship) intact. Subsequent studies have concluded that the vessel dates from the late 15th or early 16th century, making it one of the best-preserved examples of a ship from that era found in recent times. Have a story? Please email Jon Bauckham at jon.bauckham@immediate.co.uk…

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emerging from the cocoons

Rarely have Twitter historians quite so unanimously agreed. When The Economist (@TheEconomist) recently tweeted a link to an article by its ‘Bagehot’ columnist with the statement “Historians are isolated in professional cocoons, fiddling with footnotes rather than bringing the past to light for a broader audience”, the gloves were off. Cue a cacophony of tweets: some like that of history teacher Sara Sinaguglia (@SaraSinaguglia) asserting it was “simply not true”, with others far fiercer – and cruder – in their criticisms. Indeed, it was perhaps the case that many of the historians who took exception to the article didn’t actually read beyond the headline. Those who did, however, offered some valuable critiques, such as the long and widely applauded thread by Robert Saunders (@redhistorian) who began by acknowledging that, while Bagehot was…

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manuscripts reveal early news networks

A huge tranche of historic ‘newsletters’, offering a vivid insight into life in Europe between the 16th and 18th centuries, is being investigated in Italy. Brendan Dooley, professor of Renaissance studies at University College Cork, encountered the newsletters while carrying out research in the archives of the Medici family in Florence. Spanning 200 volumes, the manuscripts represent the single largest collection of the handwritten sheets – known as avvisi – which were circulated among the cities and courts of early modern Europe following the advent of public mail routes. Typically bought on the streets or by subscription, the manuscripts contain valuable information about news and current affairs in cities such as Warsaw, Paris and Madrid, and even from places as far afield as Britain, Ireland and the American colonies. One newsletter, dated 19…

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history in the news

Titanic shipyard faces uncertain future The Belfast shipyard responsible for building some of the world’s most famous ocean liners has gone into administration, putting 130 jobs at risk. At the time of press, Harland and Wolff’s Norwegian parent company was still searching for a buyer, with employees left unpaid. Founded in 1861, the firm is perhaps most famous for constructing the Titanic between 1909–12, with the shipyard’s iconic gantry cranes becoming scheduled monuments in 2003. Archaeologists solve glass shard mystery A glass shard found in Gloucestershire has been identified as having once formed part of an ornamental ‘fish’ bottle made near the Black Sea 1,800 years ago. First unearthed at Chedworth Roman Villa in 2017, the fragment was recognised by archaeolo- gists after they spotted its similarity to an intact bottle in the…

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