European History

“The Great Divide” explores how ideas that came to the fore during the Enlightenment at once blurred social hierarchies and reinforced them, particularly along lines of gender and race. 

These 18th-Century Shoes Underscore the Contradictions of the Age of Enlightenment

An exhibition at Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum examines fashion's role in supporting social hierarchies that emerged during the landmark intellectual movement

Pietas affiliate groups have built temples across Italy.

When I Celebrated the Summer Solstice With Ancient Roman Gods and Goddesses

Members of a group in Italy called Association Pietas are reviving the ancient religion of Rome

In May 1536, Henry had his second wife, Anne Boleyn, beheaded on trumped-up charges of adultery and incest. For centuries, historians blamed Anne's sister-in-law, Jane Boleyn, for testifying against the queen—but new research calls this claim into question.

The Myths of Lady Rochford, the Tudor Noblewoman Who Supposedly Betrayed George and Anne Boleyn

Historians are reevaluating Jane Boleyn's role in her husband and sister-in-law's downfall

An illustration of A. nikolovi 

Cool Finds

These Extinct Pandas Once Roamed Bulgaria

The bears are a close relative of today's giant pandas and likely ate soft plant materials, not bamboo

Divers from AllenX examines the debris trail of the Maravillas, which sank in the Bahamas in 1656.

Cool Finds

The Race to Preserve Treasures From a Legendary 17th-Century Shipwreck

The new Bahamas Maritime Museum will feature finds from the "Maravillas," a Spanish galleon that sank in 1656 with a cargo of gold, silver and gems

Based on the remnants left on pottery fragments, researchers can say northern Europeans have been drinking milk for 9,000 years.

Why Did Europeans Evolve Into Becoming Lactose Tolerant?

Famine and disease from millennia ago likely spurred the rapid evolution of the trait on the continent

A meeting of the Soviet Republics’ Esperanto Union, held in Moscow in 1931

Why Hitler and Stalin Hated Esperanto, the 135-Year-Old Language of Peace

Jewish doctor L.L. Zamenhof created Esperanto as a way for diverse groups to easily communicate

The trident, also known as the tryzub, is ubiquitous in modern Ukraine, but its origins lie in the medieval period.

How Medieval Money Shaped Ukraine’s Modern Identity

The country's distinct history is revealed in banknotes, coins and other monetary objects, says the Smithsonian’s curator of numismatics

Archaeologists carefully brush away dirt from the skeleton.

Archaeologists Uncover Rare Human Skeleton at Waterloo

The bones were discovered in a ditch near a former field hospital

Drawing of a woman being dragged to a ducking stool at a river in Ipswich, Suffolk, around 1600

When Authorities Dunked Outspoken Women in Water

In early modern England, women accused of being "common scolds" were immersed in rivers and lakes while strapped to contraptions known as ducking stools

After the first group of students arrived at Bunce Court came hundreds more, traumatized by the ever-escalating catastrophe in Europe.

The Schoolteacher Who Saved Her Students From the Nazis

A new book explores the life of Anna Essinger, who led an entire school's daring escape from Germany in 1933

Bradford Freeman died on Sunday, July 3, at age 97.

Bradford Freeman, Last Surviving Member of WWII 'Band of Brothers,' Dies at 97

The Easy Company veteran parachuted into France on D-Day and fought in major European campaigns during the last year of the war

A fresco depicting the abduction of Europa by Zeus, in the form of a bull

Cool Finds

See the Hidden, 500-Year-Old Frescoes Discovered at the Prince's Palace of Monaco

Restoration experts spent years preserving the artworks, which are now on view as the royal residence reopens for the summer

Arthur’s Stone is “a monument of an entirely different kind to the one that we’d imagined,” says archaeologist Julian Thomas.

Archaeologists Begin First-Ever Excavation of Tomb Linked to King Arthur

Britons first proposed a connection between Arthur's Stone and the mythical ruler of Camelot before the 13th century

The men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops created elaborate illusions featuring inflatable tanks, jeeps and artillery.

Untold Stories of American History

How the Ghost Army of WWII Used Art to Deceive the Nazis

Unsung for decades, the U.S. Army's 23rd Headquarters Special Troops drew on visual, sonic and radio deception to misdirect the Germans

Communist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg speaking at a conference in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1907

History of Now

The 20th-Century History of Anti-Semitic Attacks on Jewish Politicians

Russian rhetoric against Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy echoes the language directed toward Jewish leaders in post-WWI Europe

Reconstruction of marble finial in the form of a sphinx (detail), 2022, by Vinzenz Brinkmann and Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann

Art Meets Science

See the Vibrant, Long-Overlooked Colors of Classical Sculptures

A new exhibition at the Met features brightly hued reconstructions of ancient Greco-Roman artworks

As of June 15, the World Health Organization had recorded a total of 2,103 confirmed monkeypox cases in 42 countries. Pictured: a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox virus particles (green) cultivated and purified from cell culture

History of Now

What You Need to Know About the History of Monkeypox

Mired in misconception, the poxvirus is endemic in certain African countries but was rarely reported in Europe and the U.S. until recently

View of Nehalem Beach, where the ship was wrecked, with Neahkahnie Mountain in the distance

Cool Finds

Rare Timbers From 17th-Century Spanish Shipwreck Discovered Off Oregon Coast

The Manila galleon—and its cargo of silk, porcelain and beeswax—vanished en route to Mexico in 1693

Researchers found the remains of more than 140 individuals, in addition to hundreds of artifacts.

Cool Finds

Ahead of Planned Rail Line, Archaeologists Uncover Early Medieval Cemetery

The team found 138 graves and a large assortment of artifacts and personal objects

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