Dead Sea Scrolls

Exactly 20 years ago, the oldest biblical manuscripts – the Dead Sea Scrolls – were made available to the public for the first time by the Huntington Library in the U.S. Their importance, both religious and historical, is immense. As …


Sketches from the First World War

Text by Dr. Stephen Bull* This small pencil sketch on a field postcard was sent by Hans Gaigl, a soldier with the Bayrischen Landwehr Fußartillerie Batallion Nr. 2, 6. Batterie, to his wife Marie in Munich in November 1917. It …



The wonders of the Sistine Chapel

“Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving”, wrote Johann Wolfgang Goethe in 1787. About five centuries ago, the first mass was celebrated in the Sistine Chapel. Today …


August – the origins of the month’s name

In 45 B.C., after consultations with astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria, Roman General Julius Caesar began reforming the Roman calendar. In the process of the reform, the fifth month Quintilis was renamed in his honour – Julius. After Julius’s grandnephew Augustus …


Anne Frank’s diary

“I hope I shall be able to confide in you completely, as I have never been able to do in anyone before, and I hope that you will be a great support and comfort to me”, was the first entry …