A Brief History of Children Being Sent through the Mail

In the early days of the parcel post, some parents took advantage of the mail in unexpected ways. One of the most overlooked, yet most significant innovations of the early 20th century might be the Post Office’s decision to start shipping large parcels and packages through the mail. While private delivery companies flourished during the[…]

The Three Daring Women Who Traversed the Himalayas in 1958

They called their adventure the Women’s Overland Himalayan Expedition. Antonia Deacock, Anne Davies and Eve Sims were three rather extraordinary women who, when in their mid-twenties and thirties, set off overland from England to Tibet in 1958.  Their aim was climbing one of the Himalayas’ unexplored high peaks. They made the 16,000-mile drive to India and back,[…]

Nature, Politics, and the Story of Mt. Chimborazo in 1802

How a symbolic climb changed two men. This is the story of one of the tallest volcanoes in the world, Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo, and of two extraordinary characters of the 19th century: the German explorer and scientist Alexander von Humboldt and the Venezuelan liberator Simón Bolívar. Both are said to have climbed Chimborazo, although one[…]

Damnatio and Creatio Memoriae: Memory Sanctions as Creative Processes in the 4th Century

How ancient emperors used oratory, ceremony, and triumphal architecture to memorialize their fallen enemies. Introduction Damnatio memoriae, the ill-defined group of processes that we often now refer to by the term ‘memory sanctions’, is generally thought of in wholly negative terms. It is imagined as a process of destruction, of erasure, and of silence. Yet[…]

Damnatio Memoriae: Sanctions against Memory in Ancient Rome

Many emperors were raised to gods after death, but just as many received the opposite – officially erased from memory. Condemning Memory Damnatio memoriae is a term we use to describe a Roman phenomenon in which the government condemned the memory of a person who was seen as a tyrant, traitor, or other sort of[…]