Rutherford B. Hayes: A President, Disputed Electoral College, and Racial Progress

One goal Hayes didn’t accomplish as president – invigorating black education – he worked for as an ex-president. More than 140 years ago, President Rutherford B. Hayes won the election of 1876 by committing to end Reconstruction. A highly controversial political compromise preceded by disputed electoral votes and involving questionable deals with Southern Democrats, it[…]

President Ulysses S. Grant and the Court Packing Controversy of 1870

Grant was accused with packing the court, the same charge later leveled against FDR in 1937. Introduction On April 10, 1869, Congress passed an act to amend the judicial system in part by increasing the number of Supreme Court justices to nine, to take effect the first Monday in December of that year. That act,[…]

Early Concepts of Disease

For many centuries explanations for disease were based not on science, but on religion, superstition, and myth. Hunter-Gatherers Ten thousand years ago humans were hunter-gatherers. They had a short life span, but not because of epidemics; their primary problem was just finding enough food to eat. They lived and traveled in small groups and hunted[…]

Ancient Diseases: Traces of Suffering in the Bones

Diseases have often influenced historical events, but they are neglected in the documentation of these events. Human remains used to be considered a nuisance in archaeological excavations. Today they are considered a valuable source of information to understand the ways of life of prehistoric populations and their conditions. A short distance from what is now[…]

Stone and Concrete in Ancient Italo-Roman Building Techniques

The masonry techniques discussed here cover a broad chronological range from the second millennium B.C.E. to Late Antiquity. Introduction Building techniques represent an important means through which to study and understand ancient structures. The building technique chosen for a given project can indirectly provide a good deal of information about the building itself, in terms[…]

Marine Life in Ancient Mediterranean Art

Throughout the history of the ancient Mediterranean artists were always keen to express their appreciation of the bounty of the sea. Marine life of all kinds, real and imagined, was frequently depicted on frescoes, pottery, mosaics and coins. Here are 24 images with a sea theme from the Bronze Age to the 3rd century CE, encompassing Egyptian, Minoan, Mycenaean,[…]