Political Parties in the Information Age

Political parties thrive when they are able to manage the media and effectively promote their candidates, leaders, and causes. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.22.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Political parties thrive when they are able to manage the media and effectively promote their candidates, leaders, and causes. Their goal is to use the[…]

Democracy and Its Discontents: Walter Lippmann and the Crisis of Politics (1919-1938)

Walter Lippmann / Public Domain The interwar period was a moment of deep crisis everywhere. By Dr. Francesco Regalzi / 04.12.2011 Professor of Political Science University of Turin The interwar period was a moment of deep crisis everywhere. The already strong shock of World War I, a conflict that involved different continents with political and[…]

Ritual and Ritual Obligations: Perspectives on Normativity from Classical China

Handscroll, ink and color on silk, 24.4 x 343.8 cm / British Library Exploring some of the theories that arose in classical China  concerning the ways in which normativity could be construed in ritual terms. By Dr. Michael Pruett / 09.19.2015 Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History and Anthropology Harvard University Introduction The goal[…]

The Roman Senate: An ‘Assembly of Old Men’ Influential to the End

A fresco by Cesare Maccari (1840-1919 CE) depicting Roman senator Cicero (106-43 BCE) denouncing the conspirator Catiline in the Roman senate. (Palazzo Madama, Rome) / Wikimedia Commons The institution outlasted all emperors, and senators remained Rome’s most powerful political movers. By Mark Cartwright / 12.12.2016 Historian Introduction The Roman Senate functioned as an advisory body[…]

Homo Sapiens: Beyond DNA to Symbolic Communication

Skull of a Homo sapiens (a.k.a. modern human) individual, on display at the Harvard Museum of Natural History / Photo by Chris Devers, Flickr, Creative Commons Homo sapiens (‘wise man’), or modern humans, are the only species of human still around today. By Emma Groeneveld / 03.31.2017 Historian Introduction Homo sapiens (‘wise man’), or modern[…]

Human Evolution: The Many Mysteries of Homo Naledi

This hand was discovered in articulation and all bones are represented except for the pisiform. / Photo by Lee Roger Berger Research Team, Wikimedia Commons More than 1500 fossils from the Rising Star cave system in South Africa have been assigned to a new human species, Homo naledi, which displays a unique combination of primitive[…]

Abraham Lincoln: Embracing a New Technology for a Public Image

Read my lips (and forehead). Wikimedia Commons Abraham Lincoln brought commercial photographers on board. By Dr. Joanna Cohen / 10.31.2014 Lecturer in American History Queen Mary University of London Face It A virtual unknown on the national stage in 1860, Lincoln needed a public image in the run up to his first presidential campaign. Artists[…]

The Rise of Medieval Universities

The University of Glasgow / Photo by Mike Peel, Wikimedia Commons Charlemagne realized that his empire needed a body of educated people if it was to survive. By Dr. Lyon Harry Nelson Emeritus Professor of Medieval History The University of Kansas Carolingian Educational Reforms Charlemagne instructing his son Louis the Pious / Wikimedia Commons Charlemagne[…]

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville and the ‘Moral Geography’ of the Medieval World

Mandeville’s Travels was, for more than two centuries after its appearance in c.1356, of enormous influence and popularity in many fields of European culture. This paper discusses first its unprecedented generic eclecticism and its casting into the form of a first person narrative, and then proceeds to explore concepts of space and how a journey[…]

Humans Meet Metal: Copper from the Bronze Age to the Modern World

A Maitraka copper plate / Wikimedia Commons Archaeological evidence suggests that copper was first used between 8,000 and 5,000 BCE. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.21.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Between seven and ten thousand years ago, our early ancestors discovered that copper is malleable, holds a sharp edge, and could be fashioned into[…]

Filioque and the Latin-Greek ‘Great Schism’ of 1054

The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople, by Eugene Delacroix, 1840 / Louvre Museum, Wikimedia Commons The Great Schism, also called the East-West Schism, divided Christendom into Western (Latin) and Eastern (Greek) branches. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.20.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The Great Schism, also called the East-West Schism, divided Christendom into[…]

Iconoclasm across Cultures from Antiquity to Modernity

Desecrated Christian icons in Turkey / Photo by Georges Jansoone JoJan, Göreme Valley Open Air Museum, Cappadocia, Wikimedia Commons Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of religious icons or monuments, usually for religious or political motives.  In common parlance, an iconoclast is a person who challenges cherished beliefs or traditional institutions as being based on error[…]

Genocide in the Ancient World

Brysa Hill ruins / Creative Commons Genocide is often viewed as a particular feature of our own current age.  Nothing could be further from the truth. By Gerard Mulligan / 01.27.2013 Introduction Genocide is often viewed as a particular feature of our own current age. This perception largely stems from the terrible events which took[…]

Evidence of a Prehistoric Massacre Extends the History of Warfare

Skeletal remains of a group of foragers massacred around 10,000 years ago on the shores of a lagoon is unique evidence of a violent encounter between clashing groups of ancient hunter-gatherers, and suggests the “presence of warfare” in late Stone Age foraging societies. The fossilised bones of a group of prehistoric hunter-gatherers who were massacred[…]

The History of Computing: Both Evolution and Revolution

CSIRAC was originally built in Sydney by the CSIRO before being transferred to Melbourne University. Melbourne University, Author provided Looking at the changes that have been made in computing and other areas in the past 60 years. By Justin Zobel / 05.31.2016 Head, Department of Computing and Information Systems University of Melbourne It is a[…]

Puerto Rico, 1917 to Today

Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship on the eve of America’s entry into the First World War. This picture comes from 1906 and shows the officer staff of the Regiment of Infantry. (Wikimedia Commons) With the quick flick of a pen in March 1917, Puerto Ricans suddenly had the opportunity to become American citizens. By Lorraine[…]

Manorialism and Household Staff in an English Medieval Castle

Edinburgh Castle / Photo by Becks, Wikimedia Commons Examining a microcosm of the medieval world in the castle. By Mark Cartwright / 06.01.2018 Historian Introduction An illustration of a medieval noble taking his bath and being attended to by servants. (Codex Manesse, 14th century CE, Zurich, Switzerland) / Wikimedia Commons An English medieval castle, if[…]

The Absence of Central Legal Enforcement in Medieval Iceland

The Gimli viking statue / Photo by Krazytea, Wikimedia Commons Medieval Iceland illustrates an actual and well-documented historical example of how a stateless legal order can work. By Thomas Whiston / 12.25.2002 Medieval Iceland illustrates an actual and well-documented historical example of how a stateless legal order can work and it provides insights as to[…]

‘Hi Jolly’: 19th-Century Syrian Immigrant and Pioneer of the American West

Photo by Marine 69-71, Wikimedia Commons It was 1848, the end of the Mexican-American War. By Naomi Gingold / 05.15.2017 In the 19th century, one of the first Arab Muslim immigrants to the US — potentially the first-ever Syrian immigrant — came by invitation of the US military. It was 1848, the end of the[…]

Early Modern Mediterranean Migration

A 16th century chart of Europe and North Africa. Luis Texieira, Portolan Chart, Lisbon, ca. 1600 via Wikimedia Commons Migration is central to Mediterranean history and people have always moved between its two shores. By Dr. Felicita Tramontana / 06.26.2018 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow University of Warwick The appointment of Matteo Salvini, leader of the[…]

Penitence, Confession, and Submission in Late Medieval Women’s Religious Communities

14th-century theological compendium / University of California Berkeley Special Collections Examining depictions of penance and confession in late medieval “Sisterbooks”. By Dr. Rabi Gregory / 08.06.2012 Associate Professor of Religious Studies University of Missouri Introduction This article argues that depictions of penance and confession in late medieval “Sisterbooks,” which were written by women religious for[…]

Ancient Alexandria and the Dawn of Medical Science

Alexandria – View of ruins of the Serapeum from Pompey’s Pillar / Photo by Daniel Mayer, Wikimedia Commons In a number of ways, ancient Egyptian knowledge was superior to the later Greek knowledge that would flourish in the first millennium BCE By Dr. Ismail Serageldin / 12.30.2013 Founding Director and Emeritus Librarian Bibliotheca Alexandrina The[…]

Aristotle’s Theory of Aging

Drunken Old Woman. Late 3rd century BCE. Hellenistic Sculpture / Photo by Evergreen State College, Creative Commons Remarkably little attention has been paid to Aristotle’s theory of aging, or gerontology. By Adam Woodcox PhD Student in Philosophy Rotman Institute of Philosophy University of Western Ontario Introduction Aristotle was the originator of the scientific study of[…]