Bleeding Kansas

John Brown in “The Tragic Prelude,” displayed at the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka. Painted by John Steuart Curry, ca. 1938-1940. / Wikimedia Commons Unrest in the Kansas Territory between 1854 and 1856. By Dr. Catherine Denial Bright Professor of American History Knox College “Bleeding Kansas” describes a period of civil unrest in Kansas Territory between[…]

Bible Moralisée (Moralized Bibles) of the Thirteenth Century

Middle left (detail), Scenes from the Apocalypse, Paris-Oxford-London Bible moralisée, France, c. 1225-45 (The British Library, Harley MS 1527 fol. 140v) By Dr. Nancy Ross / 01.21.2016 Assistant Professor of Art History Dixie State College Utah One book, thousands of illustrations Top: Blanche of Castile and King Louis IX of France and below: Priest dictating to a scribe, Bible of Saint[…]

The Art of the Lindisfarne Gospels

Lindisfarne Gospels, St. Matthew (detail), Second Initial Page, f.29, early 8th century (British Library) By Louisa Woodville / 08.08.2015 Adjunct Professor of Medieval History George Mason University A medieval monk takes up a quill pen, fashioned from a goose feather, and dips it into a rich, black ink made from soot. Seated on a wooden[…]

Babylon: Hammurabi’s ‘Holy City’

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.19.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Rise of Babylon The Emergence of the First Babylonian Dynasty After the collapse of the Akkadians, the Babylonian Empire flourished under Hammurabi, who conquered many surrounding peoples and empires, in addition to developing an extensive code of law and establishing Babylon as a “holy city” of[…]

The Rise and Fall of the Akkadian Empire

The first civilizations formed in river valleys, and were characterized by a caste system and a strong government that controlled water access and resources. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.19.2018 Historian Breminate Editor-in-Chief River Valley Civilizations The First Civilizations The Nile River and Delta: Most of the Ancient Egyptian settlements occurred along the northern part[…]

Siena in the Late Gothic Period

View of the Piazza del Campo, Siena By Dr. Joanna Milk Mac Farland / 12.30.2015 Art Historian Siena: A city overlooked? Siena Cathedral For centuries, Siena’s role in the history of European art was underappreciated. This is partly because its moment of greatest influence occurred just before the Renaissance, a period commonly associated with the[…]

East of the Zagros: The Achaemenid Empire

Map of the Persian Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent under the reigns of Darius the Great and Xerxes.  Inspired by Historical Atlas of Georges Duby (p.11, map D), this map was made by Fabienkhan the 24th of August 2006, using Inkscape and GIMP. Arad translated the map to help. These were the Iranian peoples. By Peter Davidson / 02.11.2011 East of the[…]

Adad Nirary I and the Expansion of the Assyrian Empire

This Assyrian relief from the North-West Palace in Kalhu (c. 865-860 BCE) shows King Ashurnasirpal advancing on an enemy city, protected by a shield-bearer. Ahead is a wheeled siege engine, which carries more archers and contains a lever-operated battering ram (not visible in this photo). / Photo by Jan van der Crabben, British Museum Nirari is best known as[…]

Bagpipe Bandits: How the English Blew Scotland’s National Instrument First

This could come to blows. zoetnet, Creative Commons There’s something every Scot should know about those caterwauling pipes. By Dr. Vivien Williams / 02.25.2016 Research Assistant in Musicology University of Glasgow The Great Highland bagpipe is as central to Scottish identity as tartan and Robert Burns. Walk down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and you’ll hear that familiar wail,[…]

What Did Byzantine Food Taste Like?

Portrait of Alexios III Komnenos in The Romance of Alexander the Great, 1300s, made in Trebizond, Turkey. Tempera, gold, and ink, 12 5/8 x 9 7/16 in. Image courtesy of the Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Postbyzantine Studies, Venice, cod. gr. 5 An art historian embraces her foodie side to uncover the tastes of the Byzantine Empire.[…]

What Did the Byzantine Empire Smell Like?

Byzantium in a bottle (or two) Sniffing out the scents of medieval Constantinople. By Saskia Wilson-Brown / 07.03.2014 Artist, Film Producer, Founder Institute for Art and Olfaction Humans have long sought to harness nature—and scent is no exception. Attempts to master our olfactory surroundings date back thousands of years. We have tantalizing hints of early efforts at[…]

Olympia: Sanctuary and Site of the Original Olympics

Ruins of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece / Wikimedia Commons Looking at the ruins as they stand silently among the low trees at Olympia, it is not hard to imagine how the Olympic Games cultivated the collective consciousness of the Hellenes. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.19.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Olympia (Greek:[…]

A History of Surrealism

Visitors look at the painting The Visit from 1939 by Paul Delvaux during the 2011 exhibition Surrealism in Paris. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann As the longest-running avant-garde movement of the 20th century, Surrealism’s scope and richness is perhaps unparalleled in its influence of modern art and culture. By Dr. Natalya Lusty / 02.08.2016 Associate Professor of Gender and[…]

How Native American Food is Tied to Important Sacred Stories

The First Salmon ceremony being performed. U.S. Department of Agriculture , Public Domain Indigenous people from around the world revere certain traditional foods as sacred.  By Dr. Rosalyn R. LaPier / 06.15.2018 Associate Professor of Environmental Studies The University of Montana The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling, on June 11, that asked Washington state to remove culverts that block the migration of salmon.[…]

Rediscovering a ‘Lost’ Roman Frontier from the Air

Rewriting history from the air. William S Hanson Scrutinizing archives of aerial photography, we have been able to identify as Roman two more walls that will transform our understanding of the frontier of the Roman Empire in Eastern Europe.    By Dr. William S. Hanson and Dr. Ioana Oltean / 09.16.2013 Hanson: Professor of Roman Archaeology,[…]

Cheating, Bribery, and Scandal: How the Ancient Greeks Did the Olympic Games

In a world where few believed in an afterlife, this-worldly glory mattered immensely. Shutterstock When fame and glory are at stake, human nature seems to dictate that some people will cheat. By Dr. Julia Kindt / 08.18.2016 Associate Professor and Chair Department of Classics and Ancient History University of Sydney Is cheating at the Olympic Games a symptom of modernity?[…]

Room and Permanent Exhibit Finally Created at Jefferson’s Monticello for Sally Hemings

A new exhibition at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate in Charlottesville, Va., displays artifacts from Sally Hemings, in her living quarters. Jefferson fathered six of her children. / Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello Until now, the slaves who lived at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia estate, existed largely in the background.    By Michel Martin (left) and Emma[…]

Moonblight and Six Feet of Romance: Dan Carter Beard’s Foray into Fiction

Illustration from Moonblight (1889) – Internet Archive An esoteric disease which reveals things in their true light; three pairs of disembodied feet galavanting about the countryside – Abigail Walthausen explores the brief but strange literary career of Daniel Carter Beard, illustrator for Mark Twain and a founding father of the Boy Scouts of America. By Abigail Walthausen Although[…]

The Erotic Dreams of Emanuel Swedenborg

Portrait of Swedenborg painted in 1817, after Swedenborg’s death, by Carl Frederik von Breda – Wikimedia Commons During the time of his ‘spiritual awakening’ in 1744 the scientist and philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg kept a dream diary. Richard Lines looks at how, among the heavenly visions, there were also erotic dreams, the significance of which has been[…]

Computers Can Find Similarities between Paintings – But Art History is So Much More

Thinking does not need machines. Robert Couse-Baker, Creative Commons Art history studies cultures, societies, histories, and experiences and how they are given form. By Dr. Griselda Pollock / 08.22.2014 Professor of the Social & Critical Histories of Art University of Leeds Some computer scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey have written a computer programme that finds connections[…]