The Incomparable da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci, the ultimate Renaissance man, is the subject of Walter Isaacson’s newest book. Pictured is Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic “Vitruvian Man” c.1490. / Courtesy of Harvard Repository, Harvard Fine Arts Library, Digital Images & Slides Collection d2011.01721 Uneducated and his own creation, he still rose to the top ranks in both science and art,[…]

People are Intensely Loyal to Groups Which Abuse Newcomers. Why?

Sailors aboard the USS Lexington celebrate crossing the equator with an elaborate hazing ritual, 5 April 1944. Participants include Her Highness Amphitrite (seated left), King Neptune (seated right, with trident), and a Royal Baby, all characters who ‘preside’ over the initiation. / Photo by J R Eyerman, LIFE, Getty By Dr. Christopher Kavanagh / 01.16.2017 Post-Doctoral[…]

When Evolution is Not a Slow Dance but a Fast Race to Survive

Afghan refugee Maimuna, photographed in Kabul in 2016. Photo by Hedayatullah Amid/Epa/REX By Wendy Orent / 11.08.2017 Anthropologist We all know what Neanderthals looked like: the beetling brow ridges, thick nose, long skull, massive bone structure – and probably red hair and freckled skin. You might do a double-take if you saw one on the subway,[…]

The Language of the Undead: Zombie Narrative and Linguistics, Who Knew?

Jamie Thomas, AB ’06, studies zombies, language, race and othering at Swarthmore College. Photo by Jennifer Weisbord By Alana Hauser / 10.16.2017 In 2003, bestselling author Max Brooks published the Gray’s Anatomy of survival guides. The Zombie Survival Guide took readers on a journey through the anatomy of the living dead: their physical attributes, behavioral patterns and historical origins.[…]

Herodotean Democracies

By Dr. Joel Alden Schlosser / 04.17.2017 Assistant Professor of Political Science Bryn Mawr College Schlosser, Joel Alden. “Herodotean Democracies.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:SchlosserJ.Herodotean_Democracies.2016 I. Fragment from Herodotus’ Histories, Book VIII on Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2099, dated to early 2nd century CE / Papyrology Rooms, Sackler Library, Oxford University To study the past, let alone antiquity, at a[…]

The Ghent Altarpiece in 100 Billion Pixels

Closed altarpiece. Left to right: before, during, and after restoration. A newly expanded web application provides an amazingly close look at the Ghent Altarpiece. By Alexandria Sivak / 11.07.2017 Senior Communications Specialist J. Paul Getty Trust Since 2012 it has been possible to zoom in on the intricate, breathtaking details of one of the most important works[…]