Tom Holland

There is life out there, insists the astrobiologist Jon Willis — though it won’t be turning up in flying saucers. There’ll be a meeting of microbes rather than a meeting of minds

Why are astronomers so desperate to believe in aliens?

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Why are astronomers so keen to believe in extraterrestrial life? Is it just a story they want to hear, wonders Tom Holland

The bullet-ridden plaque to Nelson in Napoleon’s Corsica

3 September 2016 9:00 am

European unions come and go. Back in 1794, one of the more improbable ones was founded when Corsica joined Britain…

It’s cricket, not football, that’s the beautiful game

23 July 2016 9:00 am

One day, many seasons ago, Jon Hotten was on the field when a bowler took all ten wickets. In his…

Would you believe it? A selection of ancient faiths ripe for revival

12 December 2015 9:00 am

After the success of Stoicism, more ancient faiths are ripe for revival

Standing figure of the ancient Egyptian god Horus, wearing Roman military costume, 1st–2nd century AD and Seated figure of the ancient Egyptian god Horus, wearing Roman military costume, 1st–2nd century AD

Egypt: where gods are born and go to die

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Tom Holland on Egypt, where the deities were born and history itself began

Jeremy Corbyn isn’t like Caligula’s horse – he’s like Caligula

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Jeremy Corbyn has been compared to plenty of people over the past few months — a geography teacher, Michael Foot,…

Athenian general Xenophon

Financial crises are nothing new in Greece — they go back at least to the Peloponnesian War

11 July 2015 9:00 am

Financial crises are nothing new in Greece. Back in 354 BC, at a time when Frankfurt was still a swamp,…

Roman mosaic from Pompeii depicting Darius III at the Battle of Issus (333 BC), in which he was defeated by Alexander the Great

Darius III: Alexander’s stooge

14 February 2015 9:00 am

The ‘Great Kings’ of Persia were renowned for their good looks and imposing stature, but they will always, throughout history, be eclipsed by the Greeks, says Tom Holland

Tom Holland’s diary: Fighting jihadism with Mohammed, and bowling the Crown Prince of Udaipur

24 January 2015 9:00 am

As weather bombs brew in the north Atlantic, I’m roughing it by heading off to Rajasthan, and the literary festival…

Tom Holland's diary: Alex Salmond is the Scottish referendum's answer to Shane Warne

13 September 2014 9:00 am

I feel a bit about the Scottish referendum as I did about the 2005 Ashes series. In both cases, those of…

The Islamic State is destroying the greatest melting pot in history

23 August 2014 9:00 am

The fighters of the Islamic State are bringing a deadly new intolerance to a territory rich in ancient sects

Wall painting of a female head, Pompeii, 1st century AD

Pompeii’s greatest gifts are not all archeological

12 April 2014 9:00 am

The first visitor to take a break on the Bay of Naples was Hercules. He had just defeated some rebellious…

The night that saved England

1 March 2014 9:00 am

If he hadn’t survived the Twelfth Night raid of 878, England as we know it might never have existed

My dear old thing! Forget the nasty bits

26 October 2013 9:00 am

There can be a strong strain of self-parody in even the greatest commentators. When Henry Blofeld describes the progress of…

Going down fighting

19 May 2010 12:00 am

Both the Greeks and the Jews were haunted by the image of a burning city.

Fighting spirit

20 January 2010 12:00 am

The metaphors that come to us when we are sick, trapped in the no-man’s land bet- ween consciousness and oblivion, are often the most vivid of which our minds are capable.

Give peace a chance

7 October 2009 12:00 am

Time was, back in the Renaissance, when barely a book would be published which did not feature some lavish hero-worship of Cicero.

Bright sparks of the Dark Ages

3 September 2008 12:00 am

Travelling Heroes: Greeks and Their Myths in the Epic Age of Homer, by Robin Lane Fox

Like father like son

27 August 2008 12:00 am

Phillip II of Macedonia by Ian Worthington

A tale of two timeless epics

7 November 2007 2:05 pm

Tom Holland

Making the stones speak

1 August 2007 2:05 pm

Tom Holland: Farewell Britannia, by Simon Young

Business as usual

18 April 2007 4:11 pm

Protests against international business are nothing new. Probably the wittiest, and certainly the most brutal, took place long before the…

Victims and/or beneficiaries

5 July 2006 4:30 pm

‘Roman Britain,’ I asked a friend of mine, a committed pacifist and the veteran of endless marches against the war…

Never simply a soldier

19 May 2006 10:33 am

There was nothing that a Roman general relished more than the chance to raise an earthwork. ‘Dig for victory’ was…