Ignorant Armies: Private Snafu Goes to War

Opening card of the U.S. army WWII short animated films “Private Snafu”, 1943 – Wikimedia Commons Between 1943 and 1945, with the help of Warner Bros.’ finest, the U.S. Army produced a series of 27 propaganda cartoons depicting the calamitous adventures of Private Snafu. Mark David Kaufman explores their overarching theme of containment and how one[…]

Barracks and Conscription: Civil-Military Relations in Europe from 1500

By Dr. John Childs / 08.01.2011 Emeritus Professor of Military History University of Leeds Abstract To operate efficiently, armed forces require physical separation from civilian society, achieved usually through the employment of mercenaries, conscription and the provision of discrete military accommodation. War became more “popular” during the religious conflicts between 1520 and 1648 diluting civil-military[…]

Ghostwriter and Ghost: The Strange Case of Pearl Curran & Patience Worth

Pearl Curran in 1919 – St. Louis Post-Dispatch In early 20th-century St. Louis, Pearl Curran claimed to have conjured a long-dead New England puritan named Patience Worth through a Ouija board. Although mostly unknown today, the resulting books, poems, and plays that Worth “dictated” to Curran earned great praise at the time. Ed Simon investigates the[…]

Edgar Allan Poe’s Richmond Birthday Bash

By Dr. Bruce Chadwick / 01.05.2018 Lecturer in History and Film Rutgers University “Poe foresaw the darkness of generations far beyond his own.”— Stephen King How famous is writer Edgar Allan Poe, the author of the chilling The Raven poem, dozens of memorable short stories, such as “The Black Cat,” and the inventor of detective fiction? Chris[…]

Tomb of the Scipios and the Sarcophagus of Scipio Barbatus

Plaster cast of the Tomb of Scipio Barbata in-situ, early 3rd century B.C.E. (original, Vatican Museums) (photo: Caterina A., by permission) By Dr. Jeffrey A. Becker / 12.09.2015 Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies Binghamton University Image and status Veristic male portrait (similar to Head of a Roman Patrician), early 1st Century B.C.E., marble, life size[…]

Homer and Comparative Mythology

By Dr. Gregory Nagy Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature Professor of Comparative Literature Director, Center for Hellenic Studies Harvard University Still under the spell of Heinrich Schliemann’s rediscovery of Troy, students of ancient Greece have been accustomed to regard the Greek epic tradition of Homer as a reporting of events that really happened in the[…]