British Protestants in Catholic Rome during the Grand Tours

The British elite in the 17th century to the 19th century were known to take Grand Tours to visit and learn more about continental Europe. By Sarah Yenesel Introduction In a world where there was no computers, telephones, or quick modes of transportation, it was much more difficult to travel. Only the wealthy could afford[…]

Precedent and Motives for the Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780

The Gordon Riots began when England was involved in the American Revolutionary War with England virtually isolated by France and Spain. By Patryk Zalewski Introduction The Gordon Riots were caused by anti-Catholic views and the resentment towards Catholics that was long held and never truly reversed. Led by Lord George Gordon, the rioters found reason[…]

Medieval Islamic Caliphates

The caliphate soon became a hereditary institute when the dynastic system of rule was introduced to the Islamic world by the Umayyads. By Syed Muhammad KhanHistorian Introduction Caliphate (“Khilafat” in Arabic) was a semi-religious political system of governance in Islam, in which the territories of the Islamic empire and the people within were ruled by[…]

Muhammad and the Early Medieval Birth and Rise of Islam

What started as a feeble group of followers soon turned into an empire. By Syed Muhammad KhanHistorian Introduction Muhammad ibn Abdullah (l. 570-610 CE) is venerated today as the Prophet of Islam and the “seal of Prophets” by his followers – the Muslims. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last – hence the “seal” –[…]

Oriental and Mystery Cults in Ancient Pompeii

Mystery cults have some characteristics not usually found in more traditional Roman religions. By Stephen Matthiesen The archaeological evidence in Pompeii can give us some information about oriental or mystery cults, mainly the cults of Isis and of Dionysos. There are different types of archaeological sources which differ in the kind of information they can[…]

Yielding to an Emperor: The Vanishing of the Ancient Roman Republic

That a republic may vanish is an elementary schoolbook fact. By Dr. Garet Garrett The Roman Republic passed into the Roman Empire, and yet never could a Roman citizen have said, “That was yesterday.” Nor is the historian, with all the advantages of perspective, able to place that momentous event at any exact point on[…]

An Overview of Medieval Universities

Introduction A medieval university is a corporation organized during the Middle Ages for the purposes of higher education. The first Western European institutions generally considered universities were established in the Kingdom of Italy (then part of the Holy Roman Empire), the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of France, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Kingdom[…]

Charlemagne’s Early Medieval Educational Reforms and Carolingian Schools

Under Charlemagne’s rule, the work of educational reform began to have a measure of success. Introduction Carolingian schools comprised a small number of educational institutions which had a major share in the Carolingian renaissance, specifically cathedral schools and monastic schools. Under the Merovingian Kings of the Frankish kingdoms there was established at the court a[…]

‘Walking Corpses’: Life as a Leper in Medieval Eurasia

Medieval society was compelled to adapt to the presence of the chronically ill. Conventional narratives tell us that medieval lepers were pariahs who lived out their days as rejected invalids, rotting away in decrepit asylums, quarantined from society. Some of this is true. The disease became so common in Europe, however, that medieval society was[…]

Medicine and Society in the Medieval Hospital

In this period, hospitals preserved both the symbolic and material link to the Church and religion, based on the idea that the body and the soul were closely connected and mutually influenced. Hospitals today are places where medical treatment is provided, but also places where major life events, such as birth and death, occur. Yet,[…]

Truths Wrapped in Fiction: Ancient Mesopotamian Naru Literature

The myth, in time, became the reality. Introduction Originality in literary compositions in the ancient world did not carry the same weight and value as it does in the present day. In recent centuries, authors have been applauded for the creation of original works, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have been derided for plagiarism or[…]

Nebuchadnezzar: Warrior King, Rebuilder of Cities, and Musical Muse

Thousands of years after his rule, Nebuchadnezzar’s name lives on in his buildings and in ancient literature. Introduction Kanye West’s first operatic work, Nebuchadnezzar, has just premiered at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Set in the 6th century BCE, the opera is based on the biblical story of Nebuchadnezzar II, a powerful ruler and[…]

4 Games That Require Supreme Mental Alertness

Studies show that board games and even video games are good for your brain health.  When people play games, it promotes the growth of new neurons in your brain. The new brain cells enhance your mental skills, including your attention span, memory, and coordination.  Want to really challenge your body and mind? These games require the[…]

Teddy Roosevelt’s Popularity on Both Sides of the Political Aisle

The forces that have shaped the Rough Rider’s presidential legacy in the decades since his death nearly 100 years ago. A president’s career can extend well beyond his death, as family, friends, and fans work tirelessly to maintain his legacy and image. For roughly 10 years, I have studied the legacy of the 26th president,[…]

“Courtesans of the King”: Diplomats and the French Revolution

French revolutionaries aimed to jettison the old order and everything associated with it. During the Revolution, the committed often targeted nobles for opprobrium – or death. The diplomatic corps[1] was particularly vulnerable because, like the officer corps of the army, it was dominated by aristocrats. Studying the careers and fate of such men who often[…]

Losing Sight of Jefferson and Falling into Plato

Thomas Jefferson was aware of the pitfalls of democracy and never believed in the “pure democracy” scorned by Plato. Many professors at higher-level academic institutions profess to be practitioners of a Socratic method of teaching, which is a method of students arriving at understanding by a teacher “pestering” them with probing questions that lead to self-searching. Many, if not[…]

Administrative and Government Buildings of the Roman Forum

A highly important function of the Forum Romanum was as a center of administration and politics. The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) was the main and central forum of the city of Rome. It became the economic, political, and religious center of the city in early Republican times, around the seventh century BCE. It continued to be[…]

Patrician Aristocracy in the Ancient Roman Republic and Empire

The patricians were distinct from the plebeians because they had wider political influence, at least in the times of the early Republic. Introduction The patricians were originally a group of ruling class families in ancient Rome. The distinction was highly significant in the Roman Kingdom, and the early Republic, but its relevance waned after the[…]

The Formation of NATO in 1949

In 1947–1948, a series of events caused the nations of Western Europe to become concerned about their physical and political security. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union. NATO was the first peacetime military alliance[…]

Strangers in the City: The Cosmopolitan Nature of 16th-Century Venice

Othello shows us the cosmopolitan nature of renaissance Venice. Of all Shakespeare’s plays, it is Othello which reflects most vividly the multi-ethnic character of the Mediterranean basin in the 16th century. The Venetian army led by Othello, an African Moor, consists also of a Florentine (Cassio) and perhaps a Spaniard as well: the name ‘Iago’[…]

A History of the Republic of Venice from the Early Middle Ages

According to tradition, the original population consisted of refugees from nearby Roman cities. Introduction The Republic of Venice (Venetian: Repùblica Vèneta; Italian: Repubblica di Venezia), traditionally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice (Venetian: Serenìsima Repùblica Vèneta; Italian: Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia), was a sovereign state and maritime republic in northeastern Italy, which existed[…]

The ‘Eagle Warrior’ from the Mexica (Aztec) Templo Mayor

The sculpture was recovered at the House of the Eagles, the meeting place of eagle and jaguar warriors. Introduction Eagle Warrior is a life-sized ceramic sculpture made by Mexica (sometimes called Aztec) artists that shows a warrior dressed in an eagle costume. Made of terracotta, a type of earthenware known for its reddish color, the[…]

An Brief Overview of Mexica (Aztec) History

The Mexica were a migrant people from the desert north who arrived in Mesoamerica in the 1300s. By the British Museum Introduction During the twelfth century C.E. the Aztec (or Mexica*) were a small and obscure tribe searching for a new homeland. Eventually they settled in the Valley of Mexico and founded their capital, Tenochtitlan, in 1345.[…]

Did William Randolph Hearst Really Manipulate News to Spin Up a War?

“You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war”. In this and like communities, public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently he who moulds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be[…]

The Founders and Cries of ‘Fake News’

George Washington tired of those he called “infamous scribblers”. By Harlow Giles Unger “American Nation Debauched by WASHINGTON!” screamed a newspaper headline before charging the Father of Our Country with “the foulest designs against the liberties of a people.”  President Donald Trump would call it “fake News” and George Washington most certainly would agree.  After[…]

A History of Chapbooks from the 17th to 19th Centuries

Exploring this literature looked like, its subject matter, and the ways in which it was produced. Introduction Chapbooks were small booklets, cheap to make and to buy. They provided simple reading matter and were commonplace across the country from the 17th to the 19th century. They were often charming little books but they were also[…]

London’s 17th-Century Restoration Indoor Theater

This kind of theater allowed for more lighting and special effects that could enhance the performances. By Paula E. Thomson Introduction The Restoration in England took place from 1660 to 1700 (Avery & Scouten ). This time was a 40 year gap where there was a huge cross between politics and what happened in the[…]