Maria Sibylla Merian, Trailblazing Artist-Scientist of the Seventeenth Century

Beehive in a Floral Wreath (detail), 1730, Maria Sibylla Merian. The Getty Research Institute, 89-B10813 Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) was a woman far ahead of her time: a skilled, meticulous artist in an era when few women could participate in this profession. By Zoe Goldman / 10.24.2018 Administrative and Project Assistant Getty Publications Introduction Portrait of[…]

Mistress of a New World: Early Science Fiction in Europe’s ‘Age of Discovery’

Portrait of Margaret Cavendish in the frontispiece to her Grounds of Natural Philosophy (1668). The image is also used as frontispiece to some editions of The Blazing World / Wikimedia Commons Considered by many one of the founding texts of the science fiction genre, The Blazing World — via a dizzy mix of animal-human hybrids, Immaterial Spirits, and burning foes —[…]

An Introduction to ‘Of Education’ by John Milton

Of Education is Milton’s contribution to contemporary debate about methods of education. By Dr. Thomas H. Luxon Professor of English Dartmouth College Milton first published Of Education in 1644 as a rather informal looking, eight-page pamphlet without a title page, date, or publisher’s name. The tract was reprinted in 1673 as part of the second edition of Milton’s[…]

The Medieval World: An Introduction to Middle English Literature

Bronze statue of Geoffrey Chaucer The world about which Chaucer wrote was a very different world from that which produced Beowulf.  Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.27.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The world about which Chaucer wrote was a very different world from that which produced Beowulf. Developments in language, new structures in society, and changes[…]

A History of Gunpowder

Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, recent site of gunpowder factory. / Photo by Cheungkkanthony, Wikimedia Commons Gunpowder was invented in 9th-century China and spread throughout most parts of Eurasia by the end of the 13th century. Edited by Mathew A. McIntosh / 10.27.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Gunpowder, also known as black powder to distinguish it from[…]

Metallurgical Evolution in Ancient China

This elaborate set of ritual bronzes, consisting of an altar table and thirteen wine vessels, illustrates the splendor of China’s Bronze Age at its peak. Shang dynasty–Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 B.C.). / Metropolitan Museum of Art China witnessed a sudden surge in mining, smelting, refining, and casting after a lengthy period of incipient development. By Dr. Ralph[…]