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In this issue

‘The best of emperors’ Trajan’s Markets, now collectively renamed the Museum of the Imperial Fora, are a fitting place to celebrate the 1900th anniversary of a wise and just emperor who brought prosperity to Rome. Dalu Jones The wrong Caesars An examination of the scenes from the lives of 12 Roman emperors depicted on a set of stunning Renaissance, gilded silver dishes revealed that they do not match imperial figures attached to them. Mary Beard In the shadow of the volcano A stroll up Vesuvius, combined with a visit to Pompeii or Herculaneum, has inspired writers and artists throughout history and continues to evoke a deep sense of the powerful presence of the past. Lindsay Fulcher The Sun Queen The beauty of Queen Nefertiti, the ‘Great Wife’ of the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten, was immortalised in a workshop in Amarna and still haunts us today when we face her in Berlin’s Neues Museum. Joyce Tyldesley Hero of the hieroglyphs How did the 18th-century French scholar Jean-François Champollion decipher the language of the Ancient Egyptians, that allows us to read the cartouches on tombs, such as that of Tutankhamen? Andrew Robinson Horse sense Images of Man’s four-legged companion in war, work and play are exquisitely depicted on Ancient Greek vases and coins in an exhibition on show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Dominic Green The view over Atlantis The location of this mythical island has been assigned to many different parts of the world, but Plato’s story of a lost civilisation may have been a device to make a point about the nature of the state. Steve Kershaw

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