Platonic Plonk

Plato attempted to divorce wine-drinking and pleasure and to conscript wine to “worthy” purposes. Thank goodness no one listened to him

Salad Days and Egyptian Nights

Peter Stothard’s lifelong ambition was to write a biography of Cleopatra. The charming result says as much about the author as it does about the Egyptian queen

Underrated: Cyrus the Great

The rule of the ancient King of Persia was more enlightened than the despots of today's Islamic Republic of Iran

The Decline and Fall Industry

Could anxiety over the future of the West be behind the publication of so many books on the fall of the Roman Empire?

Finders Keepers

Whose Culture?: The Promise of Museums and the Debate over Antiquities edited by James Cuno

The Guru of Gossip

Maurice Bowra: A Life by Leslie Mitchell

The Ancient Entertainer

The Man who Invented History: Travels with Herodotus by Justin Marozzi

Surprise Conquest

Two superb productions, The Norman Conquests at the Old Vic and Oedipus at the NT, explore the ties that bind ancient and modern drama

Only One Thing on Their Minds

Sex and Sensuality in the Ancient World by Giulia Sissa

Hadrian: Man, Hero, Husband, Lover, Emperor

The British Museum’s exhibition reassesses the great Roman, a complex figure who left a legacy of unique glory

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"