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FROM THE EDITOR
National Geographic History
Mosaic Discovery Rewrites Rome’s Legacy in Britain • A fifth-century mosaic recently found at a Roman villa in England suggests the end of imperial rule did not end prosperity in the region.
Rabban Bar Sauma: From China to Europe • In 1287 a Mongolian khan sent a Chinese monk as his ambassador to the rulers of Europe. To the joy of historians, Rabban Bar Sauma left a detailed account of his incredible travels.
The Tulsa Race Massacre: One Hundred Years Later • A white mob destroyed a vibrant Black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in spring 1921. Nearly erased from history, the massacre is attracting new attention as the United States reckons with one of the worst incidents of racial violence in its history.
The Death of Napoleon • Painted years after Bonaparte’s death, Charles de Steuben’s deathbed scene painstakingly re-creates the moment when both a man’s life and his tumultuous era drew to a close.
The Wedding Cake: A Royal Tradition • Although baked goods had been part of nuptial feasts for centuries, Queen Victoria’s snow-white cake for her 1840 wedding took the ceremony to new heights, inspiring a sweet new custom for future brides and grooms.
SOLOMON AND THE QUEEN JERUSALEM MEETS SHEBA • The story of King Solomon meeting the Queen of Sheba inspired a rich literary tradition across Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts. The geographic origins of the story still puzzle scholars to this day.
TALES OF KINGS AND QUEENS
Searching for Sheba
THE TEMPLES OF JERUSALEM
SEARCHING IN SABA
THE PLAGUE OF ATHENS • In the second year of the Peloponnesian War, an epidemic ripped through Athens, killing tens of thousands and ending the city’s Golden Age.
FATE OF ATHENS
YOUNG LIFE LOST
THE WARRIORS OF XI’AN • The first emperor of China ordered the construction of a monumental mausoleum, guarded by a giant underground army formed by thousands of soldiers.
THE BRIEF QIN DYNASTY
METHODS OF MASS PRODUCTION
NOT MEANT FOR THE SIGHT OF MORTALS
THE NEED FOR SPEED • Chariot racing enthralled crowds across the Roman Empire, whose peoples became obsessed with the fastest sport on two wheels.
Race Through Time
THE CIRCUS MAXIMUS
STAFF AT THE CIRCUS • In 1806 a mosaic dating to the second century A.D. was found in Lyon, France. It depicts a chariot race that took place in the city, known then as Lugdunum.
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE THE QUEEN’S CORSAIR • A hero to the English and a thorn in the side of the Spanish Empire, Drake gilded the Elizabethan age with his exploits. Today, historians probe the darker side of the corsair’s career, including links to slavery.
MAPPING THE ATTACK
BITS AND PIECES
“Laocoön and His Sons”: A Macabre Classic in Marble • A sculpture of a father and his sons struggling in the coils of sea serpents was rapidly identified as a lost masterpiece from the Roman Empire after being unearthed in 1506. Its emotional naturalism awed Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo.