10 January 49 BC: Caesar crosses the Rubicon The Roman general defies the Senate, bringing war to Rome The first days of 49 BC found Julius Caesar in Ravenna, northern Italy, with a decision to make. After years of success in Gaul, Caesar was unquestionably Rome’s most accomplished and popularContinue Reading

In the latest episode in our series on history’s biggest topics, naval historian Kate Jamieson tackles listener questions on the Age of Sail. Speaking to Kev Lochun, she covers subjects ranging from ghost ships and sea monsters to the rigours of life at sea. https://media.immediate.co.uk/volatile/sites/7/2022/01/Age_sail_everything-98baf4b.mp3 How to download the HistoryExtraContinue Reading

9 January 1806: Nelson makes his final journey Thousands of Londoners line the streets to mourn the hero of Trafalgar The funeral of Horatio, Lord Nelson, the hero of Trafalgar, was one of the greatest public events London has ever seen. For three days from 5 January, his coffin layContinue Reading

8 January 1697: Britain’s last execution for blasphemy takes place A free-thinking student is sent to the gallows In January 1697, Thomas Aikenhead was about 20 years old. For much of his life he had been an orphan – that he made it to Edinburgh University to study medicine, therefore,Continue Reading

Curator Jane Desborough talks to Ellie Cawthorne about a new Science Museum exhibition, Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom, which explores the ways in which Greek thinkers sought to understand the world around them – from the oceans and animals, to the cosmos and the human body. Read more about ancientContinue Reading

7 January 1451 Pope Nicholas V issued a Papal Bull authorising the establishment of Glasgow University. William Turnbull, the bishop of Glasgow and the man who had campaigned for the foundation of the university, became its first chancellor. 7 January 1558 France recaptures Calais from the English. Surrendered to EdwardContinue Reading

The Munich conference – a two-day summit in the Bavarian city in September 1938 at which Britain and France tamely rubber-stamped Adolf Hitler’s dismemberment of Czechoslovakia – has become shorthand for shame, humiliation, and the culmination of the appeasement policy vainly pursued by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s government. The disastrousContinue Reading

Edward Brooke-Hitching speaks to Charlotte Hodgman about his latest book, The Devil’sAtlas: An Explorer’s Guide to Heavens, Hells and Afterworlds, exploring visions of the afterlife as imagined throughout history by cultures and religions around the world. https://media.immediate.co.uk/volatile/sites/7/2022/01/Hell_devil_atlas-6853c93.mp3 Edward Brooke-Hitching is the author of The Devil’s Atlas: An Explorer’s Guide toContinue Reading

The U.S. Civil War was the nation’s deadliest conflict, but debate remains over the total estimate of fatalities. The Civil War was the deadliest of all American wars. No one disagrees with that. But how many died has long been a matter of debate. For more than a century, the most-acceptedContinue Reading

From ‘I Have a Dream’ to ‘Beyond Vietnam,’ revisit the words and messages of the legendary civil rights leader. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential figures of the American civil rights movement—and a gifted orator. His stirring speeches touched on everything from social and racial justice,Continue Reading