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Jul / Aug 2019

Volume 30, Issue 4

Words of power & the power of words

The British Library is staging an exhibition to show the crucial role the written word – from hieroglyphs, runes and cuneiform to print, predictive text and emojis – has played and continues to play in our history. Peter Toth

Out of Africa

African masks inspired 20th-century European artists, such as Picasso, now in the first exhibition of its kind in Italy examples of African art are displayed as art – not as ethnographic curiosities. Matilde de Chantrain

In the lap of luxury

American oil billionaire J Paul Getty had a replica of Herculaneum's Villa dei Papiri built in Malibu in the 1970s; now art treasures excavated at the original site are on show in America. Geraldine Fabrikant

Last supper in Pompeii

The Ashmolean Museum has prepared a feast of paintings, documents and artefacts from Italy and Britain to show just how important food was for the Romans – from production to consumption. Paul Roberts

I, Claudius

Sickly, stammering and with little ambitioon, Claudius was perhaps the most unlikely of Roman emperors to suceed yet, as an exhibition in Rome shows, he was an efficient and diligent administrator. Dalu Jones

'To cause justice to prevail in the land...'

Nearly 4000 years ago the Babylonian king Hammurabi drew up a legal code, carved on basalt stele and containing 282 sections, to regulate what, to him, would create a just and well-ordered society. Diana Bentley

Urban roots

The great civilisations that arose in Sumeria and Assyria, where the first city was founded, are the subject of a new book that describes and illustrates their power and the grandeur of their architecture. Ray Dunning

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