October 2020

Subscribe magazine covers


Bust of Nero social

You Don't Know Nero

For nearly 2,000 years, the Roman ruler has been depicted as an egotistical monster who fiddled while Rome burned. But is this image accurate?

spotted lanternfly on a stick

It Is Here. And It is Hungry

The voracious, shape-shifting insect native to Asia is attacking crops, vineyards and trees

Marble Canyon, Grand  Canyon, Arizona, U.S.

The Last Quiet Places

Little can compare to the healing power of silence

SOCIAL-The towers of the Stadtkirsche

Hatred in Plain Sight

In the city where Martin Luther revolutionized Christianity, a vile, 700-year-old sculpture openly denigrates Jews. Why is it still there?


October Discussion

Your feedback on our coverage of Sudan's pyramids, the library thief and overfishing on the seas

Things That Matter

Finding the next awe-inspiring artifact requires flexibility, help from the community—and a healthy dose of good luck


Marketing the Moon

When it came to exploring the stars, Americans had to see it to believe in it


The Cowboy Poet

The unsung writer, known to many as "Anonymous," led a life of indelible verse


Long in the Tooth

An incisive history of a Halloween snarl


The Zen Machine

The author's meditation on technology treads a whole new path in the modern, digital world

Don't Be Puzzled

Test your mettle with this puzzle created exclusively for 'Smithsonian' readers

Ask Smithsonian

You've got questions. We've got experts