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Black smoke billows over the skyline as a fire at the oil depot for the airport rages out of control after being struck in the crossfire of warring militias battling for control of the airfield, in Tripoli, Libya in July (PA)

The Church west of Egypt has long been plagued by heresy, piracy and persecution

The Coliseum in Rome, built during the reign of Emperor Vespasiano in  c.72 AD (Photo: PA)

A society in decline, religion as counter-culture, and mass immigration are just some of issues that link us to the Roman Empire

Ed West welcomes a new book that sheds light on the mysterious birth of the Islamic faith

Far from being chaotic, Late Antiquity was stable and confident right up until the late 5th century

A royal enthusiast camps across the road from Westminster Abbey to ensure a good view of the wedding  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Every empire falls for a simple reason: a lack of self-belief. And our leaders don’t seem to believe anything much any more