The Economics of Medieval and Early Modern Guilds

The analysis of guilds as economic institutions is largely based on Europe between about 1000 and about 1800. By Dr. Sheilagh OgilvieProfessor of Economic HistoryUniversity of Cambridge Introduction Occupational guilds have been observed for thousands of years in many economies: ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome; medieval and early modern India, Japan, Persia, Byzantium, and Europe; and nineteenth-century[…]

Venice as the Ancient Source of Europe’s Commercial Roots

In the tumultuous aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire, the newly founded Republic of Venice boasted its maritime and commercial eastward mission. By Dr. Vera CostantiniLecturer in Turkish Language, Ottoman History, and Paleography Ca’Foscari University of VeniceUniversity of Palermo In one of his articles, Carlo Dionisotti analyzed the literary topos of war in the East[…]

Ancient Greek Colonization of the Mediterranean

Following training and cooperation with the Phoenicians, the ancient Greeks launched a huge wave of colonization across the Mediterranean. By Dr. Polyxeni Adam-VeleniDirectorArchaeological Museum of Thessaloniki The borderline from the 8th to the 7th century BC marked by three very important events which determined the course of Western civilization and greatly affect our lives today.[…]

The Mediterranean: The Historical Political Meaning of the Sea

Since the ancient world, the Mediterranean has served as a space for constant exchange of goods, people and ideas. By Dr. Bernd ThumGerman Medieval Historian Introduction Whoever is asked what he thinks about the Mediterranean as a memory space will immediately answer laconically with a question: Ah, Braudel? During and shortly after the Second World[…]

Preserving Ancient Mosaics in the Mediterranean

A restorer removes mortar on a mosaic in Tipasa, Algeria. Image courtesy the Conservation and Restoration Workshop of the Arles Antiquities Museum Flexibility in a funding initiative for mosaics conservators leads to a range of positive outcomes. By Dr. Joan Weinstein / 11.27.2018 Acting Director Getty Foundation Introduction Grant-making is rarely a linear process. It often involves twists and turns along the[…]

What Would It Take to Build a Tower as High as Outer Space?

The Dubai skyline featuring the Burj Khalifa (centre) in 2015 / Wikimedia Commons The human desire to create ever bigger and more impressive structures is insatiable.    By Dr. Sean Sun (left) and Dan Popescu (right) / 08.24.2018 Sun: Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Whiting School of Engineering and at the Physical Science-Oncology Center under[…]

Pieter Bruegel’s ‘Tower of Babel’ and the Creation of a Harmonious Community in Antwerp

Analyzing how the theme of the painting, a story of miscommunication and disorder, resonated with the challenges faced by the metropolis. By Dr. Barbara A. Kaminska Assistant Professor of Art History Sam Houston State University Abstract This article discusses Pieter Bruegel’s Tower of Babel (now in Vienna), originally displayed in the suburban villa of Antwerp entrepreneur Niclaes[…]

The People vs. Tyranny: The Secular Martyrdom of John Lilburne

John Lilburne, reading from Coke’s Institutes of the Lawes of England (1628-44) at his trial for high treason in 1649. Photo courtesy The British Library/Public Domain He was a 17th-century champion of legal rights that are important to us all. By Dr. Michael Braddick / 11.26.2018 Professor of History (Early Modern England) University of Sheffield The English[…]

City and Regional Government in Ancient Egypt

Examining  the roles and duties of the court, temple and provincial officials as the backbone of ancient Egyptian administration. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction The administration of towns and cities in dynastic Egypt was part of a complex pattern of central and regional government whose functions, and officials, often overlapped.[…]

Unsentimental Vistas: Berenice Abbott and 20th-Century Interwar Urban Photography

Berenice Abbott “I am an American, who, after eight years of residence in Europe, came back to view America with new eyes.” By Ayten Tartici PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature Yale University When the American photographer Berenice Abbott returned to New York in 1929 after nearly a decade away in Paris, she came back to[…]

Thomas Scattergood: Forensic Toxicology in Victorian Yorkshire

Saltaire Victorian village – Bradford, Yorkshire, England. UNESCO World Heritage Site As a regional forensic expert, Thomas Scattergood takes his place in the historiography of crime and forensic practice in England. By Dr. Cassie Watson and Dr. Laura Sellers / 12.19.2017 Introduction Dr Thomas Scattergood, First Dean of Medicine at Yorkshire College (1884–1900) Thomas Scattergood,[…]

Diagnosing the Past

The diagnosis: a skeletal doctor measures a patient’s pulse, L. Crusius / Wellcome Collection, Creative commons Texts that are hundreds of years old might yield clues to medical problems of the past. But without a body, a definitive diagnosis is rarely possible. And unless you know the context of what you’re reading, it’s possible to go[…]

The Development of Leisure Sports in Ancient China and Its Contemporary Sports Culture Value

Ancient Chinese golf / Creative Commons The traditional culture not only influences the life of modern people, but also promotes the sports undertakings in China. By Dr. Jianqiang Guo and Dr. Rong Li / 10.12.2017 School of Physical Education Changzhou University Abstract The traditional culture not only influences the life of modern people, but also promotes[…]

The Origin and Development of the Dragon in Ancient Chinese Mythology

Unlike the Western dragon of Europe that is representative of evil, the many eastern versions of the dragon are powerful spiritual symbol. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 12.07.2018Public HistorianBrewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The Chinese dragon (spelled Long,Loong, or Lung in transliteration), is a Chinese mythical creature that also appears in other East Asian cultures, and thus is also sometimes called the Oriental (or Eastern)[…]

What Hanukkah’s Portrayal in Pop Culture Means to American Jews

Hanukkah demands fewer religious rituals than most other Jewish observances. Golden Pixels LLC Despite the primacy of Christmas in American culture, the visibility of Hanukkah in pop culture reminds Jews that they have their own holiday in which they can take pride. By Dr. Ted Merwin / 12.05.2017 Part-Time Associate Professor of Religion Director, The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life (2001) Dickinson College When I was[…]

How Hannukah Came to America

In the United States, Hanukkah has gained much significance. Tercer Ojo Photography/Shutterstock.com Hanukkah is ranked one of Judaism’s minor festivals. It’s popularity in the U.S. has a lot to do with the country’s history. By Dr. Dianne Ashton / 12.02.2018 Professor of Religion Rowan University Hanukkah may be the best known Jewish holiday in the United States. But despite[…]

“Columbia’s Noblest Sons”: Washington and Lincoln in Popular Prints

The admiration of these two former presidents has risen to the level of a posthumous apotheosis in artistic representation. By Harold Holzer Historian, Lincoln Scholar “I venture to claim for Abraham Lincoln the place next to George Washington.” So wrote George S. Boutwell, the Civil War congressman from Massachusetts who went on to serve under[…]

Deifying the First President in ‘The Apotheosis of Washington’

The Apotheosis of Washington by Constantino Brumidi, 1865 / United States Capitol rotunda, Wikimedia Commons The Apotheosis of Washington depicts George Washington sitting amongst the heavens in an exalted manner, or in literal terms, ascending and becoming a god (apotheosis). Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 12.06.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The Apotheosis of Washington is the fresco painted by Greek-Italian artist[…]

A Brief Historical Overview of the Split between North and South Korea

The two Korean states both claim to be the legitimate government of the divided Korean Peninsula. By Matthew Wills / 03.17.2017 The two Korean states, which both claim to be the legitimate government of a divided Korean Peninsula, are in the news again. North Korea is testing missiles that could potentially carry nuclear warheads. South Korea[…]

Shamanism in Ancient Korea

Cheongung, or the main Shrine Hall of the Three Sages, on the grounds of Samseonggung. Samseonggung Shrine is dedicated to the traditional worship of the three mythical creators of Korea: Whanin, Whanung, and Dangun. Its influence on ancient Korean culture is most tangible in surviving art, architecture, literature, and music. By Mark Cartwright / 11.08.2016 Historian Introduction Bangsadaps,[…]

Navigating Dürer’s Woodcuts for ‘The Ship of Fools’

Attributed to Albrecht Dürer, woodcut illustration for Chapter 85, “Not Providing for Death” At the start of his career, as a young man in his twenties, Albrecht Dürer created a series of woodcuts to illustrate Sebastian Brant’s The Ship of Fools of 1494. Dürer scholar Rangsook Yoon explores the significance of these early pieces and how in[…]

Confronting Power and Violence in the Renaissance Nude

Venus of Urbino, 1538, Titian. Oil on canvas, 47 in x 65 in. Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi. Source: Wikimedia Commons From seductive centerfolds to noble savages, images of the naked human body played a complex and sometimes troubling role in European culture. By Dr. Sherry C.M. Lindquist / 12.04.2018 Dorothy Kayser Hohenberg Chair of Excellence in[…]

Chivalry in Medieval Portugal

Convent of São Gonçalo, North of Portugal / Photo by Edgar Jiménez, Wikimedia Commons The different stages in the spread and development of chivalric ideals as a feature that marked the identity of the main socio-political groups in medieval Portugal. By João Miguel Aguiar Graduate Student, College of Letters University of Porto Abstract his article seeks to understand[…]

Portugal in the Middle Ages

Illustration of the Battle of Aljubarrota by Jean de Wavrin, 15th century / British Library, Wikimedia Commons Established in the 1130s and ruled by the Portuguese House of Burgundy.. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 12.05.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The kingdom of Portugal was established from the county of Portugal in the 1130s, ruled by the Portuguese House of Burgundy. During[…]

The German World and Its Inheritance: Some Thoughts on Reading Beowulf

From a medieval manuscript / British Library, Public Domain The heroic character of Beowulf, the nature of leadership and, hence, of the politics of the society, and the forces to which humans are subject. By Dr. Lynn Harry Nelson Emeritus Professor of Medieval History The University of Kansas Introduction I believe that one can easily discern[…]