Bandit Resurrections: Who Was the Real Sundance Kid?

Welcome to the kaleidoscopic universe of Wild West history, where outlaws return from the dead with vampiric regularity. By Daniel Buck Last summer, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead received an odd present from an Arizona businessman named Jerry Nickle: a just-published book promoting the idea that the author’s great-grandfather William Henry Long was none other than[…]

The Sultan of Byzantium: A Byzantine Past Hiding in Plain Sight

The journey begins with a quiet academic living in Istanbul who receives a cryptic message that will change his life. Introduction Istanbul makes an exotic first impression: Boat traffic on the Bosporus sends waves brushing up against the shores of both Europe and Asia as enormous mosques and monuments from previous empires stand guard. The[…]

Government in the Roman Republic

The Roman Republic emerged out of what one historian called “the ashes of the monarchy.” Introduction Western Civilization is forever indebted to the people of ancient Greece and Rome. Among the numerous contributions these societies made are in the fields of art, literature and philosophy; however, perhaps their greatest gift to future generations was the[…]

Did Aristotle Really Humiliate Himself for Phyllis?

Medieval feasts sometimes had a moral tossed in with the tale. In the Middle Ages, before forks replaced fingers as the eating utensil of choice, it was often necessary, while feasting, to rinse one’s hands. Hence the aquamanile, a table-top, water-dispensing vessel found in wealthier homes. This one depicts the humiliation of Aristotle by Phyllis,[…]

Was the Real Socrates More Worldly and Amorous than We Knew?

The typically idealized picture of Socrates is not the whole story, and it gives us no indication of the genesis of his ideas. Socrates is widely considered to be the founding figure of Western philosophy – a thinker whose ideas, transmitted by the extensive writings of his devoted follower Plato, have shaped thinking for more[…]