by Roderick Conway Morris

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History


Alexander the Great
In the Footsteps of Alexander
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 16 March 1996
Alexander had Aristotle for a tutor, but it was the epic poetry of a more archaic and bloody age, not the clear light of Athenian philosophy, that made the Macedonian boy-king tick.

Anglo-Saxons: Art and Culture AD 600-900
Light in our Darkness
Roderick Conway Morris (Spectator) 22 February 1992
Some countries' Dark Ages were darker than others.

Arslantepe, Turkey
Arslantepe: One of the world's most ancient cities
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 4 December 2004
Rural populations in the Near and Middle East usually assume that whatever archeologists say they are up to, in reality they are searching for treasure.

Caesar, Julius
Storming the Heavens
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 7 April 2009
Julius Caesar lent his name to monarchs - both the titles 'Tsar' and 'Kaiser' derive from it - for the best part of two millennia.

Celts
Europe's Incorrigible Individualists
Roderick Conway Morris (Spectator) 8 June 1991
From the earliest days the Celts were exceptionally adept craftsmen.

China
Ming: The Dynasty Behind the Vases
Roderick Conway Morris (International New York Times) 16 October 2014
Ming products became synonymous with the country that produced them, referred to in India and the Middle East as "chini" and in English as "china." But this artistic high point was just one of the many achievements of the Ming Dynasty between 1400 and 1450.

Cleopatra
Last of the Pharoahs
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 23 December 2000
'How different, how very different from the home life of our own dear Queen.'

Clocks
Italian Hours
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 22 July 2005
The mechanical clock was the great technological invention of the European high middle ages, first recorded in the last quarter of the 13th century.

Clocks
The Race That Changed the World and Made the Watch
Roderick Conway Morris (International New York Times) 3 September 2014
While latitude — the distance north or south of the equator — was relatively easy to calculate by observation of the sun or stars, the measurement of east-west longitude proved a far more stubborn challenge.

Ebla
Putting Ebla on the Ancient Map
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 22 April 1995
Ebla, which flourished between about 2,400 and 1,600 BC, was one of the ancient world's largest and most thriving cities.

Etruscans
The Etruscans
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 20 January 2001
The masters of central Italy for several centuries in the first half of the first millennium B.C., the Etruscans left a landscape liberally littered with their remains.

Ezzelino III
The 'Count Dracula' of the Veneto
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 27 October 2001
Ezzelino III was variously described by the Vatican as 'a poisonous scorpion' and 'the forerunner of the Antichrist'.

Franciscans in the Holy Land
In the Holy Land: From the Crusades to the Custodianship of Holy Places
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 11 March 2000
The Franciscans' almost unbroken involvement there both during and after the Crusades is unique among Western religious orders.

Frederick II
Riding Into the Fire: The Rich Legacy of Frederick II's Reign
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 30 March 1996
Frederick II pulled off one of the greatest diplomatic coups in history.

Gardens in the Ancient World
Early slices of paradise: Gardens in ancient times
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 13 July 2007
Gardens are as old as civilization and the origins and early development of them are the subject of "The Ancient Garden from Babylon to Rome: Science, Art and Nature."

Genoa
Tales of Strife and Intrigue
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 26 February 2000
The first doge of Genoa, Simone Boccanegra, whose name is kept alive by Verdi's opera, was appointed by public acclaim in 1339.

Gorizia and its Counts
The Counts of Gorizia Brought to Life
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 24 June 2000
He is a man who is worse than a woman,' sniffily observed Enea Silvio Piccolomini, future Pope Pius II, of Heinrichs IV, Count of Gorizia in 1452.

Goths
Traces of the Vanished Goths
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 9 April 1994
The Goths originated on the Scandinavian shores of the Baltic.

Kircher, Athanasius
A Jesuit's Quest for Wisdom
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 17 March 2001
If Athanasius Kircher had never existed, Jorge Luis Borges would surely have invented him.

Malatesta, Sigismondo
Power, the Arts, War: Splendors of the Malatesta
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 7 April 2001
In Renaissance Italy, war was not regarded as the antithesis of civilization.

Maps
Earth Dreams: The World According to Maps
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 24 November 2001
As maps became larger they contained more and more figurative and written information, most of it theological, biblical and mythical, rather than geographical.

Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius and the Pensive Muse
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 22 April 2006
Seldom can ignorance have played such a vital part in saving a great work of art.

Maya
The Maya Brought Back to Life
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 26 September 1998
Until recently the Maya were a classic lost civilization. In the 1950s the breakthrough came with the first success at the decipherment of Maya script.

Medici, Marie de'
A Florentine Princess on the Throne of France
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 30 July 2005
Marie gathered artists and their works from near and far.

Muses: Greek and Roman
Marcus Aurelius and the Pensive Muse
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 22 April 2006
Seldom can ignorance have played such a vital part in saving a great work of art.

Normans
How an Art Style Spread through Europe
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 12 March 1994
Norman castles and churches were an unmistakable expression of their entire culture.

Pilgrimages
The Medieval Pilgrimage to St. Peter's: 350-1350
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 22 January 2000
'Travel,' according to one of the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, 'is a foretaste of Hell.'

Pompeii
Man the Maker and the Natural World
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 5 June 1999
Homo Faber: Nature, Science and Technology in Ancient Pompeii

Pompeii
Pompeii's preserved bodies tell their story
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 10 May 2003
Had the entire population of Pompeii been sufficiently panicked to flee, what would have been buried would have been empty ghost towns.

Roman Burials
Mystery of a Young Girl
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 3 February 1996
The first of these distinctive girls' graves came to light in the late 15th century.

Rome: and the Barbarians
Brave New World
Roderick Conway Morris (The Spectator) 7 May 2008
All empires eventually bite off more than they can chew.

Rome: and the Barbarians
Rome and the Barbarians
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 15 February 2008
"In the second century of the Christian era, the Empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind."

Rome: Foundation Myth
Romulus, Remus and the Capitoline She-wolf
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 5 August 2000
New finds support the date given by ancient sources for Rome's foundation.

Rome: the Domus Aurea
Nero's Pleasure Dome
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 25 June 1999
When Rome was devastated by fire in A.D. 46, the emperor Nero grabbed the chance to turn a large part of the center of the city into a private park.

Rome: Tourists and Pilgrims
The Grand Tour and the Crusades
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 15 March 1997
Among Europe's chivalric classes the Crusades took on the aspect of a Grand Tour avant la lettre, driven as much by the inexorable logic of primogeniture, peer-group pressure and the desire for adventure and booty as by religious fervor.

Siena and Rome
A heritage that makes two cities kin
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 9 December 2005
Visitors to this Tuscan hilltop town may be surprised to find it dotted with artistic representations - statues on columns and on buildings - of the she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, the archetypal symbol of Rome.

Sport: Ancient Greek and Roman
Winning! The cult of victory
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 20 September 2003
When it came to sport, the two great players in the ancient world, the Greeks and the Romans, were at a considerable variance.

Travel in the Middle Ages
Globe-Trotting in the Middle Ages
Roderick Conway Morris (International New York Times) 15 May 2015
Travel in the Middle Ages was facilitated by the steady increase in the quality and number of maps available.

Venice: Ancient Rafting Traditions
Rafting on the Piave Revisited
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 29 January 1993
In Venice's heyday 3,000 or more rafts made the journey every year, shooting the Piave's rapids, to the lagoon.

Venice: Daniele Manin and the 1848-49 Revolution
Honest Dictatorship
Roderick Conway Morris (International Herald Tribune) 21 November 1998
... it is still a commonly held belief in Venice that the city was never run more intelligently, efficiently and honestly before or since

Vikings
The Saga of the Vikings, Expanded
Roderick Conway Morris (International New York Times) 30 April 2014
Viking warships were especially formidable on account of their range and speed, which assured an element of shock to their enemies, and of their shallow draughts, which meant that they could rapidly be beached in coastal shores and penetrate deep inland via river systems