A Conspiracy So Dense: Richard Hofstadter’s “Paranoid Style”

It’s critical to revisit the cultural moment that gave rise to the elite-baiting, conspiracy-mongering turn of the modern right. Introduction At the outset of the Trump era, historian Leo Ribuffo declared that “Richard Hofstadter’s famous catchphrase, the ‘paranoid style in American politics,’ should be buried with a stake in its heart.” It’s safe to say[…]

The Stone of Scone: Coronating Medieval Scottish Monarchs

Introduction The Stone of Scone (Gaelic: Lia Fail), also known as the Stone of Destiny or Coronation Stone, is a block of sandstone associated with the coronation ceremonies of the medieval monarchs of Scotland. These ceremonies were held at Scone, a prehistoric site in Perthshire. The Stone of Scone was removed from Scotland by Edward I of[…]

The Scottish Enlightenment and the Matter of Ancient Troy

The Scottish Enlightenment played a dominant part in the late-18th and early-19th century debate about the location of Troy. Abstract The modern world knows the Scottish Enlightenment as the nursery of today’s social sciences, when the outlines of economics, sociology and anthropology first became apparent in the works of Adam Smith and his contemporaries. However,[…]

The ‘Sea Peoples’ and the Bronze Age Collapse

No ancient inscription names the coalition as “Sea Peoples” – this is a modern-day designation. Introduction The Sea Peoples were a confederacy of naval raiders who harried the coastal towns and cities of the Mediterranean region between c. 1276-1178 BCE, concentrating their efforts especially on Egypt. They are considered one of the major contributing causes[…]