Defining Dred Scott

Dred Scott By Dr. Matthew Pinsker Associate Professor of History Pohanka Chair in American Civil War History Dickinson College Dred Scott was one of the most famous slaves in American history. By filing for freedom in St. Louis Circuit Court on April 6, 1846, this husband and father of two girls set in motion a[…]

The Little-Known Tale of the Medieval Unicorn

A Unicorn (detail) in the Northumberland Bestiary, about 1250–60, unknown illuminator, made in England. Pen-and-ink drawing tinted with with body color and translucent washes on parchment, 8 1/4 × 6 3/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 100, fol. 11. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program With a weakness for virgin maidens,[…]

Separating Myth from Legend about the Medieval Dragon

A Winged Dragon (detail) in a bestiary, 1278–1300, unknown illuminator, Franco-Flemish. Tempera colors, pen and ink, gold leaf, and gold paint on parchment, 9 3/16 × 6 7/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XV 4, fol. 94. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program In medieval bestiaries, dragons killed elephants, feared[…]

Uncovering Ancient Ashkenaz – The Birthplace of Yiddish Speakers

Did Ashkenazi Jews descend from ancient Turkey? Everett Historical/Shutterstock Yiddish was at one time the international language of Ashkenazic Jews, but it’s exact origin has always been somewhat unclear, until now. By Dr. Eran Elhaik / 05.06.2016 Lecturer in Population, Medical and Evolutionary Genomics University of Sheffield At 1,000 years, the search for the location of Ashkenaz – thought to be the birthplace of Ashkanazic[…]

‘Let Us Adore and Drink!’: A Brief History of Wine and Religion

Caravaggio’s 1595 masterpiece Bacchus. Wikimedia Commons Wine, more than other beverage, is intimately connected to celebration and worship. By Dr. Robert Fuller / 12.23.2014 Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies Bradley University In a letter to the Abbe Morellet in 1779, Benjamin Franklin mused that the strategic location of the elbow is proof that God desires us[…]