Illuminating the Carolingian Era: The Artistic Diversity of Charlemagne’s Renaissance

These luxurious manuscripts were written and illuminated between the late eighth century and the first quarter of the ninth century. Abstract Comparing information from the ancient texts about the illumination of the manuscripts to the analysis of the components used to create colour in illuminations sheds interesting light. Our research team studied several manuscripts from[…]

Election and Service of the Doge in Medieval Venice

The title “doge” was the title of the senior-most elected official of Venice and Genoa. Introduction The Doge of Venice[1], sometimes translated as Duke (compare the Italian Duca), was the chief magistrate and leader of the Republic of Venice between 726 and 1797. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state’s aristocracy. The[…]

Strategy and Manipulation in Medieval Elections

Exploring voting rules and electoral procedures used in the Middle Ages in both ecclesiastical and secular contexts. Abstract When developing electoral protocols, desiderata include a system which is transparent,non-manipulable, honest, and not open to strategizing. However, these desiderata are in tension with each other: Often, transparent electoral procedures are the least strategy resistant, and many[…]

St. Anthony’s Fire: Ergotism and Its Treatment in the Medieval World

It is less well-known than the Black Death plague but was constantly present throughout the Middle Ages. Introduction St. Anthony’s Fire (SAF) is an illness brought on by the ingestion of fungus-contaminated rye grain causing ergot poisoning (ergotism). The disease’s common name derives from the medieval Benedictine monks dedicated to that saint who offered treatment to[…]

Medieval Cures for Lung Disease, Gout, and Vertigo

Old English continued to be used a century after William’s victory at the Battle of Hastings. Even after the Normans conquered England, Old English (the oldest form of the vernacular) continued to be spoken throughout the country. It continued to be used in books produced in  monasteries there for at least a century after William[…]

The Exile of Anaxagoras in Ancient Greece for Blaspheming the Moon

2,500 years ago, Anaxagoras correctly determined that the rocky moon reflects light from the sun, explaining lunar phases and eclipses. Close to the north pole of the moon lies the crater Anaxagoras, named for a Greek philosopher who lived in the fifth century B.C. The eponym is fitting, as Anaxagoras the man was one of[…]

The Civil War Diarist Who Chronicled the Confederacy’s Fall

Raised in plantation privilege, Mary Boykin Chestnut was unprepared for the trauma of war and defeat. “February 18, 1861…. I do not allow myself vain regrets or sad foreboding. This Southern Confederacy must be supported now by calm determination and cool brains. We have risked all, and we must play our best, for the stake[…]

African American Spirituals: From Cotton Fields to Concert Halls

After the Civil War, touring groups of black college singers popularized slavery-era songs, giving rise to a new musical genre. “Swing low, sweet chariot….” These words are familiar to many Americans, who might sing them in worship, in Sunday school, around campfires, in school, and in community choruses. But the black singers responsible for introducing[…]

Christianity Used as a Justification for Slavery in 19th-Century America

White Christian slaveholders argued that slavery was a necessary evil because it would control the sinful, less humane, black race. Slave owners had many justifications for why holding people in bondage was acceptable. From the idea that African Americans were a lesser race who needed taking care of by white patriarchs to the economic justification,[…]

The English Reformation: Fighting the Oppressors to Become Them

Henry VIII and his heirs became equally as oppressive as the Catholic Church whose chains they threw off. Introduction The English Reformation began with Henry VIII of England (r. 1509-1547 CE) and continued in stages over the rest of the 16th century CE. The process witnessed the break away from the Catholic Church headed by[…]

Shillings, Gods, and Runes: A Semitic Superpower in Ancient Northern Europe

New linguistic research suggests early Germanic language and culture was strongly influenced by the Mediterranean superpower Carthage. Introduction Remember when Australians paid in shillings and pence? New research suggests the words for these coins and other culturally important items and concepts are the result of close contact between the early Germanic people and the Carthaginian[…]

Ancient Semitic-Speaking Peoples

The languages they spoke are usually divided into three branches: East, Central, and South Semitic languages. Introduction Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples were Western Asian people who lived throughout the ancient Near East, including the Levant, Mesopotamia, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Horn of Africa from the third millennium BC until the end of antiquity. The languages[…]

The ‘Red Power Movement’: Native Americans and Civil Rights in the 1960s

Events during the movement included the Occupation of Alcatraz, the Trail of Broken Treaties, the Occupation of Wounded Knee. Introduction The Red Power movement was a social movement led by Native American youth to demand self-determination for Native Americans in the United States. Organizations that were part of Red Power Movement included American Indian Movement[…]

A History of the Lumbee Tribe and Political Protest in North Carolina

The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina has a long history of struggle, protest, and resistance to white supremacy and its social effects. Introduction It may not have seemed unusual when a protest in support of Black lives and against police brutality moved through the town of Pembroke, North Carolina, in late June and faced off[…]

The Bostonian Who Armed the Anti-Slavery Settlers in ‘Bleeding Kansas’

Amos Lawrence backed abolitionist pioneers in the town that bears his name. On May 24, 1854, Anthony Burns, a young African-American man, was captured on his way home from work. He had escaped from slavery in Virginia and had made his way to Boston, where he was employed in a men’s clothing store. His owner[…]

When Bowie Knives Were in Fashion in the 19th Century

Everyone carried a weapon. Some of them were even works of art. By Bill WorthenLate DirectorHistoric Arkansas Museum Even in the ball-room, the place, above all others, consecrated to pleasure, and where personal encounters should be least expected, these instruments of death are carried. Little Rock Times, February 28, 1835 At an interesting time in[…]

Thailand’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha

What is this figurine and why was it so important to King Rama I (r. 1782-1809 CE)? Introduction A small carved figurine sits high on a grand multi-tiered pedestal in a magnificent wat (temple) in Bangkok, Thailand. It has been sitting there since 1784 CE and was originally thought to be made of emerald. Hundreds of[…]

‘The Medium Is the Message’: Marshall McLuhan Predicted the Internet and Its Dangers

McLuhan lives on today as the immortal saint of electronic culture. The 20th-century futurists were susceptible to making some incredible predictions.  2020 is already shaping up to be a hugely pivotal year, but now that we’re here we can look back and easily see just how inaccurate several predictions turned out to be.  For instance,[…]

Horse Power: An Unbridled Selection of Horses in Getty Museum’s Art Collections

Humans have been making art about horses longer than we have been riding them. Introduction From the 17,000-year-old cave paintings at Lascaux to that iconic ‘80s Trapper Keeper, humans have been making art about horses longer than we have been riding them. Art featuring horses is so prominent in the Getty’s collections that this is[…]

The Long Parliament: England’s 17th-Century New Model Army and the Rump

The notion of the state as a commonwealth in which the ruled as well as the ruler had rights eventually resulted in the modern nation state. Introduction The Long Parliament is the name of the English Parliament called by Charles I, on November 3, 1640, following the Bishops’ Wars. It receives its name from the[…]

4 Ways to Use Microsoft MS-100 Exam for IT Career Success. Are Practice Tests Important during Preparation?

Introduction The learning path that Microsoft takes you through while seeking a certification can make you nothing short of an expert in your field. That’s why for those seeking to be enterprise administrators, they should consider stepping out to the job market with a Microsoft badge. It’s essential, therefore, that they take and pass the[…]

Poverty in Ancient Greece and Israel: Plato’s Nomoi and Deuteronomy, a Comparison

Plato’s Nomoi and the Book of Deuteronomy dealt intensively with the fissures between rich and poor within society. Abstract The way in which a nation’s economy is structured is of great importance for the material welfare of its people as well as the people’s relationship with the state and the operation of the state itself.[…]

Poverty in Ancient Greece

Elites feared falling into poverty and tried to keep the evil eye away with laughable figures. By Estelle Galbois and Sylvie Rougier-Blanc The poor and poverty in Antiquity must be considered as true objects of historical, philosophical, anthropological and sociological study, despite the fact that the available sources, which were written by the elites, rarely[…]