The Year The World Almost Blew Up – And Nobody Noticed

By Taylor Downing / 05.27.2018 Historian On November 9th 1983, the leadership of the Soviet Union nearly ordered a full pre-emptive nuclear strike against the US and Western Europe. The entire Soviet nuclear arsenal was readied. Huge SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missiles in their silos were put on standby. SS-20 mobile missile launchers deployed to their[…]

William F. Warren and the Search for Eden

Map showing the geographical centrality of the North Pole, from Paradise Found (1885), by William F. Warren Of all the attempts throughout history to geographically locate the Garden of Eden one of the most compelling was that set out by minister and president of Boston University, William F. Warren. Brook Wilensky-Lanford looks at the ideas of the[…]

The ‘Lawe of Nations’: How Diplomatic Immunity Protected an Elizabethan Assassin

Mary Queen of Scots was at the centre of numerous plots to kill Queen Elizabeth I. Pierre Révoil (1776–1842) When the Spanish ambassador to Elizabeth I’s court was implicated in a plot to kill her, he was protected by the fledgling laws of diplomacy. By Dr. Carol Rutter / 05.23.2018 Professor of Shakespeare and Performance Studies University of Warwick A foreign state sponsors a[…]

Alfred the Great May Not Have Been So Great

The Last Kingdom. BBC/Carnival/Des Wille New research suggests his military achievements might have been exaggerated. By Dr. Stuart Brookes / 03.17.2017 Senior Research Associate in Archaeology University College London The Last Kingdom – BBC’s historical drama set in the time of Alfred the Great’s war with the Vikings – has returned to our screens for a second[…]

Farming Left Us Better Fed but Not Necessarily Better Led – How Despots Arose with Agriculture

Give a man a ploughshare, and he’ll turn it into a sword. Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH An elite class began to monopolise resources and were able to command the labour of others to do things. By Dr. Simon Powers / 08.06.2014 Postdoctoral Researcher Université de Lausanne For hundreds of thousands of years humans lived in hunter-gatherer societies,[…]

Mass Grave Reveals Organized Violence among Europe’s First Farmers

The owner of this skull had a nasty run in with an axe. Christian Meyer These massacres entail killing on a relative scale seen today only in the most war-torn countries. By Dr. Rick Schulting / 08.07.2015 Lecturer in Scientific and Prehistoric Archaeology University of Oxford The discovery of 26 bodies with lethal injuries in a 7,000[…]