How to Be Presidential: Lessons from George Washington

George Washington was not born a leader, but he carefully made himself into one. On June 22, 2012, for $9,826,500, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association purchased George Washington’s personal bound copy of the Constitution with the Bill of Rights and Acts of Congress. The volume dated from 1789, Washington’s first year in office as president[…]

‘Danse Macabre’: The Medieval Dance of Death

The Danse Macabre consists of the dead or a personification of death with dancing along to the graves. Introduction The Danse Macabre, also called the Dance of Death, is an artistic genre of allegory of the Late Middle Ages on the universality of death: no matter one’s station in life, the Danse Macabre unites all.[…]

Holy Innocents’ Cemetery: Mass Grave in Medieval Paris before the Catacombs

A mass grave since 1223, bodies were exhumed and the bones were moved to the Catacombs in 1786. Introduction The Holy Innocents’ Cemetery (French: Cimetière des Saints-Innocents or Cimetière des Innocents) is a defunct cemetery in Paris that was used from the Middle Ages until the late 18th century. It was the oldest and largest[…]

Reactions to Plague in the Ancient and Medieval World

People felt overwhelmed as it seems as though they believed that what had happened to others elsewhere could not possibly happen to them. Introduction Throughout history, epidemics and pandemics of plague and other diseases have caused widespread panic and social disorder even, in some instances, when the people of one region were aware of a[…]

Plagues of the Ancient and Medieval Near East, 562-1486 CE

The first definitive outbreak of plague was the Plague of Justinian as recorded by Procopius which killed an estimated 50 million people. Introduction Disease has been a part of the human condition since the beginning of recorded history – and no doubt earlier – decimating populations and causing widespread social upheaval. Among the worst infections[…]