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In this issue

Writing on the Wall It is logical to suppose that the emperor Hadrian had Hadrian’s Wall constructed, but various theories over the centuries have drawn diverse conclusions about this – and other matters. David J Breeze Fragments of the empire Mosaics from across the Roman Empire on show at the J Paul Getty Museum reveal the intricate relationship between violence and beauty, an idea inherited from the Greeks. Dominic Green Isis in Italy The beguiling Ancient Egyptian goddess, who attracted many Roman cult followers, is being celebrated in three intriguing exhibitions at museums in Pompeii, Naples and Turin. Dalu Jones It’s a very hot topic 350 years ago the Great Fire of London blazed across the city changing its face forever – how did it start, what did witnesses say about this terrible conflagration and how much damage was done? Meriel Jeater A colourful past Thanks to its founder, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, has a collection of illuminated manuscripts that is second to none – as an exhibition celebrating its 200th anniversary shows. Theresa Thompson Standing up for the Classics The writer, broadcaster and lapsed comedian Natalie Haynes describes how she uses the wit and wisdom of the ancient world to amuse and enlighten modern audiences. Lindsay Fulcher Power to the people? Athens is widely believed to be the birthplace of democracy, but would the kind of voting system practised in the agora be acceptable anywhere in the world today? Paul Cartledge From archaeologist to matinee idol Immortalised by David Lean’s 1962 film, TE Lawrence was initially propelled into the limelight by an American showman, who ensured he would be remembered in fiction – as well as in fact. Neil Faulkner

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