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Omar ibn Said c1850. Digitally colourised. Omar ibn Said’s autobiography is the only known extant autobiography of a slave written in Arabic in America. It was not edited by his owner, as those of other slaves written in English were, and is therefore surmised to be more authentic. It also attests to the high level of education that existed in Africa at the time and also reveals that many Africans who were brought to the United States as slaves were followers of Islam. Public domain via the Beinecke Library/Yale University
Being good is hard. How an ancient Indian emperor, horrified by the cruelty of war, created an infrastructure of goodness
The Death of General Wolfe (1770) by Benjamin West. Wolfe was killed during the Battle of Quebec (1759) that decided the fate of French lands in North America. Courtesy the National Gallery of Canada/Wikipedia
A view of Singapore’s central business district from a hotel along Beach Road. Much of Singapore’s recent development has been built upon land reclaimed from the sea. Photo by Sim Chi Yin/Magnum Photos
The execution of Robespierre and his accomplices, 17 July 1794 (10 Thermidor Year II). Robespierre is depicted holding a handkerchief and dressed in a brown jacket in the cart immediately to the left of the scaffold. Photo courtesy the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris
For 400 years, Americans have argued that their violence is justified while the violence of others constitutes barbarism
William Fitzhugh Brundage
Portrait of an African Man ( c1525-30), by Jan Jansz Mostaert. This is the only known portrait of a black man in early European painting. He is thought to be Christophle le More, an archer who was a member of Emperor Charles V’s bodyguard. Photo courtesy the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
What shaped the thought of E P Thompson, the great historian of ordinary working people and champion of their significance?
Detail from Nagasaki Harbour (c1833-6), by Kawahara Keiga. Ink and colour on silk. On the left is the crescent-shaped island of Deshima (flying the national flag), from which the Dutch were the only Westerners to trade with Japan from 1641 to 1859. Courtesy the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam