Entomology and Empire: Settler Colonial Science and the Campaign for Hawaiian Annexation

Pest control was a political act in late-nineteenth-century Hawaiʻi, helping sugarcane planters pursue annexation to the United States. By Dr. Lawrence H. KesslerProgram Coordinator and Fellow-in-ResidenceConsortium for History of Science, Technology, and MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania Pest control can sometimes be a political act, with ramifications reaching far beyond the targeted fields and farms. Such was[…]

Droughts and Agricultural Scarcity before Independence in the Viceroyalty of New Granada, 1800–1810

The crisis affected all kind of people: whites, mestizos, and indigenous people; herders, large cattle owners, and croppers of plantain. In May 1807, a group of farmers and ranchers from the lands around Santafe, the capital city of the Viceroyalty of New Granada (today Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia), wrote a complaint about meat[…]

The Medieval Law Merchant: The Tyranny of a Construct

Medieval commerce had little space for a specialized law, and merchants had little need for it. Abstract The story of a medieval law merchant has a strong hold on scholars interested in private ordering. Despite numerous historical works demonstrating the falsity of the myth, it continues to be discussed regularly in scholarship as if it[…]

Perspectives on Translating Medieval Law: The Norwegian Landslov of 1274

Strategies in translating the first national law-code of Norway, the Landslov from 1274, into English. Abstract This paper demonstrates strategies in translating the first national law-code of Norway, the Landslov from 1274, into English. One can argue the need to have Old Norwegian law in English to make it more accessible. To ensure that a[…]

Empress Wu Zetien: Bloodthirsty Ruler or Bad Press?

“She killed her sister, butchered her elder brothers, murdered the ruler, poisoned her mother,” the chronicles say. But is the empress unfairly maligned? By Mike Dash Most nations of note have had at least one great female leader. Not the United States, of course, but one thinks readily enough of Hatshepsut of ancient Egypt, Russia’s[…]

Attila the Hun: A Ruthless Scourge

His name was synonymous with terror among his enemies and the general populace of the territories that his armies swept through. Introduction Attila the Hun (reigned 434-453 CE) was the leader of the ancient nomadic people known as the Huns and ruler of the Hunnic Empire, which he established. His name means “Little Father” and, according to some historians,[…]