Talkin’ Like a Pirate? It Be a Linguistic Treasure Trove

No one in history has ever, based on their adopting a sea-going profession, talked like Robert Newton’s Long John Silver in Treasure Island. The people we think of when we talk about “pirates” would’ve talked mostly like the people they grew up around, just like the rest of us do. Many of them wouldn’t have[…]

The Pirate-y Life of Ferdinand Magellan

Magellan’s voyage in search of the “Spice Islands” was marked by storms, sharks, and scurvy—plus multiple attempts at mutiny. By Lorraine Boissoneault From the start, it was hard to know whose side Ferdinand Magellan was on. Born in northern Portugal around 1480, Magellan, an orphaned son of lesser nobles, spent decades serving the Portuguese crown[…]

Entertainment in Georgian Britain, from Pleasure Gardens to Blood Sports

During the Georgian period a host of entertainments were available to those seeking relief from their everyday routines. Theatre The 18th century was the great age of theatre. In London and the provinces, large purpose-built auditoriums were constructed to house the huge crowds that flocked nightly to see plays and musical performances. A variety of[…]

The Hippodrome of Constantinople: Sports and Entertainment in Ancient Byzantium

Many important Roman cities had an arena which hosted thrilling chariot races and more for public entertainment. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction The Hippodrome of Constantinople was an arena used for chariot racing throughout the Byzantine period. First built during the reign of Roman emperor Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century CE, the structure was[…]

Sor Juana, Founding Mother of Mexican Literature

How a 17th-century nun wrote poetry, dramas, and comedies that took on the inequities and double standards women faced in society. By Matthew Wills From a convent in New Spain, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz became one of the leading lights of the Spanish Baroque’s golden age. A scholar, poet, playwright, philosopher, and composer, in[…]

The Yudja: Brazil’s People of the Forest

For decades, they’ve sustainably managed their community forest, relying on it for food, shelter and livelihoods. By Caleb Stevens, Sarah Parsons, Katie Reytar and Bill DuganPhotos by: André D’elia Introduction The Yudja are one of many indigenous groups who call Brazil’s Amazon rainforest home. For decades, they’ve sustainably managed their community forest, relying on it[…]

The Nazca Lines of Ancient Peru: Dr. Maria Reiche and a Life’s Work

For nearly 2,000 uninterrupted years, the region’s ancient inhabitants drew thousands of large-scale zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures and lines on the arid ground. Introduction The lines and geoglyphs of Nazca are one of the most impressive-looking archaeological areas in the world and an extraordinary example of the traditional and millenary magical-religious world of the ancient Pre-Hispanic societies. They[…]

The Mystery of Fort Ancient Culture: The Great Serpent Mound

The 1,000-year-old mound conforms to the natural topography of the site. A Serpent 1300 Feet Long The Great Serpent Mound in rural, southwestern Ohio is the largest serpent effigy in the world. Numerous mounds were made by the ancient Native American cultures that flourished along the fertile valleys of the Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri[…]

Entrepreneurship and Copywriting: How Do They Complement Each Other?

Looking to know why you should be entrepreneuring with copywriting? Read how they complement each other in the following extensive guide! Let’s admit that no matter how very wonderful and liberating it might sound, entrepreneurship had never been a cakewalk for anyone.  And don’t let us start on the risk factor that is involved in[…]

A Short History of the Idea of ‘Main Street’ in America

From Nathaniel Hawthorne to Disneyland, the concept has represented both the experimental and the conventional. In the United States, Main Street has always been two things—a place and an idea. As both, Main Street has embodied the contradictions of the country itself. It is the self-consciousness of the idea of Main Street—from its origins in[…]

Abolition and Emancipation Were Not the Same Thing

After the Civil War, Rose Herera wanted more than freedom – she wanted justice. Early in 1865, in the city of New Orleans, a newly freed woman named Rose Herera made a startling allegation. She told a local judge that her former owner’s wife, Mary De Hart, had abducted three of her children and was[…]

Early Evidence of Cannabis Smoking Found on Chinese Artifacts

The findings are some of the earliest evidence of cannabis used as a drug. People have been smoking pot to get high for at least 2,500 years. Chinese archaeologists found signs of that when they studied the char on a set of wooden bowls from an ancient cemetery in western China. The findings are some[…]

A Brief History of the Cultures of Asia

In Asia, because of its huge land mass and multiple diverse cultures, there are several overlapping timelines. Overview Historians divide history into large and small units in order to make characteristics and changes clear to themselves and to students. It’s important to remember that any historical period is a construction and a simplification. In Asia,[…]

Napoleon Bonaparte’s Personal #Brand

Napoleon didn’t like sitting for portraits, and yet artists and mass market prints helped cement his legendary status. By Matthew Wills Corsican-born Napoleon Bonaparte, known for conquering much of Europe and crowning himself Emperor of the French, knew the importance of good iconography. Portraiture and propaganda were crucial elements of his life story, which began with his[…]

Between Two Republics: American Military Volunteers in Revolutionary France

Most of these Americans left behind little evidence explaining why they took up arms for the French at a time when the official policy of the United States was one of neutrality. Introduction Historians have long recognized the vital contributions of French soldiers and officers to the American colonists during the American Revolution. Without the[…]

Abraham Lincoln in European Popular Culture

Lincoln has generally been absent as a model in European social and public life, rarely emphasized as an essential part of education or in the public forum. By Dr. John DeanMaître de Conférences 9° of Cultural History and American StudiesUniversity of Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines Introduction This article argues that Lincoln is not a universal[…]

Statues and Status: Lincoln in Europe

The exponential growth of his popularity built into a memorial crescendo. Lincoln’s ascension to the status of icon was not smooth and steady. Journalist Horace Greeley predicted in April of 1865 that the sixteenth President’s reputation would grow proportionate to the distance from his own era, and it grew steadily from his death in 1865,[…]

How Vain, Stubborn, Thin-Skinned George Washington Grew Up

Through the trauma of war, and by learning from his mistakes, the first president gained empathy and gravitas. At 21 years of age, George Washington was a very different man than the one we know and hold sacred, different from the stately commander, the selfless first president, the unblemished father of our country staring off[…]

George Washington’s Deep Self-Doubt

The first president was indispensable to our early republic, precisely because he didn’t see himself as indispensable. By Dr. Robert L. MiddlekauffHotchkis Professor Emeritus of American HistoryUniversity of California, Berkeley Revolutions tend to get hijacked, going from being about the people to being about the triumphant revolutionary leaders. And so the French Revolution begat Napoleon,[…]

The Beginning of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic – and One Doctor’s Search for a Cure

It was unparalleled, this confluence of public health, politics, clinical medicine, and public anxiety. The following is an excerpt from The Impatient Dr. Lange by Dr. Seema Yasmin. Before the living dead roamed the hospital, the sharp angles of their bones poking through paper-thin bed sheets and diaphanous nightgowns, there was one patient, a harbinger of what[…]

Dardanella and Peter: What Does Microhistory Offer to the History of Sexuality?

During the past two decades, historians of twentieth-century Britain have delineated the landscape of a “modern sexual and gender regime.” What does a microhistorical approach, based upon the subjective experiences and writings of individuals, offer the history of sex and love in early twentieth-century Britain? This was the central question guiding research following the discovery,[…]

Victorian Biological Research in Western Equatorial Africa

By midcentury, Victorian natural historians seemed hungry for information from formerly inaccessible regions of Africa. With a groan that had something terribly human in it and yet was full of brutishness, he fell forward on his face. The body shook convulsively for a few minutes, the limbs moved about in a struggling way, and then[…]

Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the ‘Beagle’

Darwin to understand the convergence of disparate scales of geological and human history. The event now known as “the voyage of the Beagle” comprises Charles Darwin’s circumnavigation as ship’s naturalist on the second of three surveying voyages by H.M.S. Beagle; the writings published as his first book, the Journal of Researches; and the genesis of his theory[…]

Abolition and European Imperialism in East Africa, 1845-1893

What were the links between abolition and imperialism in East Africa? Introduction The islands of Zanzibar and Pemba off the East coast of Africa have long been part of a cosmopolitan Indian Ocean trading world. On these tropical islands, as well as the nearby coast, the ancient African civilization of the Swahili grew wealthy on[…]

African Traditional Religions in Art: Religion and the Spiritual Realm

Most traditional religions in Africa have developed at the local level and are unique to a particular society. Traditional Religions in Africa Most traditional religions in Africa have developed at the local level and are unique to a particular society. Common elements include a belief in a creator god, who is rarely if ever represented[…]