Opium for the Masses
How the ancients got high By Robert S. Merrillees

The King David Hotel in Jerusalem has witnessed many historical scenes, some violent, others diplomatic. One of the more curious incidents took place in April 1974, when a security guard accompanying U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on an official visit to Israel happened to look out a window of the hotel; a former customs […]

The Enigma of Hatshepsut
Egypt’s female pharaoh By Gay Robins

The story of Hatshepsut is at first glance simple. She was the daughter of King Thutmose I, wife of King Thutmose II and mother of his daughter, Neferura. Upon her husband’s death (c. 1479 B.C.), she became queen regent of Egypt, ruling in place of the young heir who technically occupied the throne: Thutmose III, […]

Floating in the Desert
A pleasure palace in Jordan By Ehud Netzer

For more than a century after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.E., his heirs, the Seleucids in Syria and Mesopotamia and the Ptolemies in Egypt, fought for control of the portion of southern Israel known as Judea. Early in the second century B.C.E., a Jew named Joseph stepped into the fray. The […]


Past Perfect: From Rome To Brindisi
The poet Horace steps across Italy—a trip that turns into a series of comic misadventures.
Destinations: Swimming the Hellespont
Following in Leander’s wake, across the choppy strait separating Europe and Asia. By Susan Heuck Allen
Ancient Life: What, No Corkscrew?
It wasn’t the Swiss who invented the Swiss Army Knife.
The Forum
Remembering Jewish contributions to modern medicine. Tracking Cappadocia’s missing tuff. And setting the record straight about ancient infanticide.