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BBC History MagazineBBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine

December 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

access_time1 min.
welcome

One of the most high-profile exhibitions of recent years arrives in Britain this month when Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh opens at London’s Saatchi Gallery. It’s testament to the enduring fascination with Egypt’s boy king, whose story is still cloaked in mystery. For this month’s cover feature, we asked Egyptologist Joann Fletcher to offer a new perspective on Tutankhamun through seven surprising revelations about his life, death and legendary tomb. You’ll find that on page 22. One of the historical ideas infusing the continuing Brexit debate has been Britain’s 20th-century decline, which saw a country that was once the world’s superpower eclipsed by a number of rivals. Whether or not leaving the EU might offer a chance to reverse this trend has become a central bone of contention. On page…

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this issue’s contributors

Alexander Watson I find the story of Przemyśl fortress extraordinarily dramatic. Early in the First World War, the future of Europe depended upon a multinational force of underequipped, middle-aged soldiers battling a mighty Russian invasion. Alexander recounts how a fortress siege changed the course of the war on page 30 Edoardo Albert When my archaeologist brother-in-law invited me to visit excavations at Bamburgh, I never imagined it would spark 20 years of research into the kingdom of Northumbria and its greatest king, Oswald the White Blade. Edoardo tells the story of Oswald’s victory at the battle of Heavenfield on page 62 Joann Fletcher Like so many people the world over, I’ve been dazzled by the contents of Tutankhamun’s tomb since childhood. And yet it’s only quite recently that the true significance of these treasures has begun to…

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redeeming features

An 800-year-old figure of Christ originally discovered in York has been returned to the city after a long absence. The 16cm-long object, which would have once been mounted on an enamelled cross, was found in the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey in 1826, before going astray and ending up in the possession of a German art collector during the 1920s. The unique artefact – which is believed to have been crafted in Limoges, central France – has been acquired by the York Museums Trust, and will now be going on display at the city’s Yorkshire Museum. Have a story? Please email Jon Bauckham at jon.bauckham@immediate.co.uk…

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ancient writings hit the web

Thousands of texts dating back to the Roman occupation of Britain have been made freely available to the public via a vast web archive. Relaunched in September with new material, Roman Inscriptions of Britain Online (romaninscriptionsofbritain.org) now provides access to nearly 4,000 ancient writings discovered across the country. Featuring images of the original artefacts, highlights include the Bloomberg tablets – a set of wooden tablets excavated ahead of construction on Bloomberg Media Group’s London headquarters between 2010 and 2014. Mostly dating from the second half of the first century AD, the tablets offer a unique insight into life in the city, with one even bearing the address “Londinio Mogontio” (“In London, to Mogontius”) – the earliest known written reference to the future UK capital. Elsewhere on the site, readers can also examine a…

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history in the news

Online map shows extent of Scottish witch hunts A map of Scotland showing the places of residence of 3,141 alleged ‘witches’ has been published online. The University of Edinburgh resource at witches.is.ed.ac.uk utilises material from the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft, set up to provide a picture of witch-hunting between 1563 and 1763. The news comes as plans to erect a memorial beacon for accused witches was rejected by residents in Torryburn – home of Lilias Adie, who died in prison while awaiting trial. Historian tracks down lost will of Haitian queen The will of a 19th-century Caribbean queen has been discovered in the UK’s National Archives. The document, found by Dr Nicole Willson from the University of Central Lancashire, sheds new light on Marie-Louise Coidavid, the wife of Haiti’s self-proclaimed king, Henry Christophe.…

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michael wood on…

“As a racism row rumbles on, is it time to retire the term ‘Anglo-Saxon’?” There are storms buffeting the world of Anglo-Saxon studies. Like the narrator of the Old English poem The Seafarer, many scholars are feeling battered by “dire sea-surges” and “bitter breast cares”. And the waves are coming from across the Atlantic. In the United States the academic Anglo-Saxon studies establishment, white-dominated and long perceived as excluding of BAME scholars, is now facing a backlash. The first target is the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS), a body predominantly concerned with Old English literature and culture, which over the last 35 years has done a great deal to further knowledge of the pre-Conquest period but which now stands accused of institutional racism. Recently, one of its vice presidents, a woman…

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