Nicolas Bourbaki: The Greatest Mathematician Who Never Was

Bourbaki was the last mathematician to master nearly all aspects of the field. There’s just one problem: Bourbaki never existed. Introduction By many measures, Nicolas Bourbaki ranks among the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. Largely unknown today, Bourbaki is likely the last mathematician to master nearly all aspects of the field. A consummate collaborator,[…]

Barbarous Hun: The Sinking of the Lusitania and the Rise of Propaganda

It severely affected public opinion in favor of war and further energized a war-weary public in England. On May 7, 1915, the British passenger ship Lusitania was hit by repeated torpedo attacks emanating from a German u-boat off the coast of Ireland. Of the 1,960 passengers and crew on board, only 767  survived. 128 of the deceased were[…]

The Armored Body as Trophy in Shakespeare’s Roman Plays

The treatment of the military subject in Shakespeare’s Roman plays complicates early modern cultural understandings of the material aspects of militant nostalgia. Remembering Rome, performing Rome… Introduction At the end of Book 12 of Virgil’s Aeneid, Aeneas is described as “stetit acer in armis” or “ferocious in his armor,” a colossal and threatening force, a[…]

Ancient Roman Literature

A number of highly educated citizens could speak and read both Greek and Latin. Introduction The Roman Empire and its predecessor the Roman Republic produced an abundance of celebrated literature; poetry, comedies, dramas, histories, and philosophical tracts; the Romans avoided tragedies. Much of it survives to this day. However, Roman literature cannot stand alone. They[…]

44,000-Year-Old Indonesian Cave Painting Is Rewriting the History of Art

These works had been known for years by locals on the island of Sulawesi, but it was assumed they weren’t that old. Scientists say they have found the oldest known figurative painting, in a cave in Indonesia. And the stunning scene of a hunting party, painted some 44,000 years ago, is helping to rewrite the[…]

Recent Archaeological Discoveries Are Helping to Refine the Human Story

20 years ago, who could predict how much more researchers would know today about the human past? Introduction In 1924, a 3-year-old child’s skull found in South Africa forever changed how people think about human origins. The Taung Child, our first encounter with an ancient group of proto-humans or hominins called australopithecines, was a turning[…]