How the Civil War Drove Medical Innovation

The federal government was able to spur innovation to meet the needs of the crisis. Introduction The current COVID-19 pandemic, the largest public health crisis in a century, threatens the health of people across the globe. The U.S. has had the most diagnosed cases – surpassing 6 million – and more than 180,000 deaths. But[…]

Two Surgeries, 800 Years Apart: Aztec Medical Technology and Today

An archaeologist’s hip surgery prompts him to think of the experience of a Puebloan woman who survived a terrible fall centuries ago. As an archaeologist, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what life was like in the past. I’ve also been injured a time or two, and I’ve wondered if any of my nonfatal[…]

Dogs and Their Collars in Ancient Rome

The dog was a companion, guardian, hunter, professional fighter, tracker, fellow warrior, and sometimes a sacrifice in ancient Rome. Introduction Dogs were highly valued in ancient Rome, as they were in other cultures, and the Roman dog served many of the same purposes as it did in, say, Egypt and Persia, but with a significant[…]

Dogs and Their Collars in Ancient Greece

The most basic dog collar no doubt developed on its own in Greece, but the later ones were most likely influenced by the Egyptians. Introduction Dogs in ancient Greece are regularly depicted in art, on ceramics, in literature, and other written works as loyal companions, guardians, hunters, and even as great intuitive thinkers, and all[…]

The Diplomatic Impacts of U.S. Victory in the Civil War

The victory provided a renewed strength of the U.S. government and allowed shifting resources to fight external intervention. Introduction The outcome of the Civil War resulted in a strengthening of U.S. foreign power and influence, as the definitive Union defeat of the Confederacy firmly demonstrated the strength of the United States Government and restored its[…]

The Impact of the Trent Affair on U.S.-British Relations in the Civil War

The Lincoln administration understood that it would be unwise to risk a possible armed conflict while already in the midst of a war. Introduction On November 8, 1861, Charles Wilkes, a U.S. Navy Officer, captured two Confederate envoys aboard the British mail ship, the Trent. Great Britain accused the United States of violating British neutrality,[…]

The Marian Reforms: Becoming a Professional Army in Ancient Rome

In order to understand the Marian army, one must consider the military structure of pre-Marian times. By Philip MathewAncient Historian Introduction The Marian Reforms were a set of the reforms introduced to the Roman army in the late 2nd century BCE by Roman general and politician Gaius Marius (157-86 BCE). Through these reforms, the Roman army[…]

Gloria Exercitus: A History of the Ancient Roman Legion

Because legions were not permanent units until the Marian reforms, hundreds were named and numbered throughout Roman history. Introduction A Roman legion (Latin legio, “military levy, conscription”, from legere “to choose”) was the largest military unit of the Roman army. A legion was roughly of brigade size, composed of 4,200 infantry and 300 cavalry in[…]

Daily Life in Aztec Tenochtitlan

Exploring Aztec class structure, marriage, family life, food, markets, religious practices, and recreation. Introduction The Aztecs built their large empire in central Mexico. Suppose you are an Aztec child living outside Tenochtitlán in the 1400s C.E. One morning your father, a chili pepper farmer, takes you to the Great Market at Tenochtitlán. Your father finds[…]

A History of Aztec Civilization

Exploring the Aztecs, a Mesoamerican people who built a vast empire in what is today central Mexico from 1428-1519 CE. Introduction The Aztec Empire flourished from 1428 C.E. until 1519 C.E., when it was destroyed by invaders from Spain. The Aztecs told a legend about the beginnings of their empire. Originally a wandering group of[…]

How Caesar’s Dictatorship and Gallic Conquest Changed Both Rome and Gaul

Ultimately, it allowed Caesar to overthrow the Roman Republic and led to the establishment of the Imperial system. Introduction Julius Cesar is one of the most famous men in all of history. He was one of the greatest military commanders of all time and the man who transformed the Roman Republic into an Empire. One[…]

A History of Dictatorship in the Ancient Roman Republic

Dictators were only supposed to be appointed so long as the Romans had to carry on wars in Italy and elsewhere. A dictator was an extraordinary magistrate at Rome. The name is of Latin origin, and the office probably existed in many Latin towns before it was introduced into Rome (Dionys. V.74). We find it in[…]

The Passage and Repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act, 1885-1943

Non-Chinese workers in the United States came to resent the Chinese laborers, who they feared would squeeze them out of their jobs. Introduction In the 1850s, Chinese workers migrated to the United States, first to work in the gold mines, but also to take agricultural jobs, and factory work, especially in the garment industry. Chinese[…]

How the Burlingame-Seward Treaty of 1868 Changed U.S.-China Relations

There was a general effort to convince the Chinese to adopt a more Western approach to diplomacy and governance. Introduction China and the United States concluded the Burlingame-Seward Treaty in 1868 to expand upon the Treaty of Tianjin of 1858. The new treaty established some basic principles that aimed to ease immigration restrictions and represented[…]

The Imperial Diet at Regensburg during the Holy Roman Empire

All Imperial Estates enjoyed immediacy and, therefore, they had no authority above them besides the Holy Roman Emperor himself. Introduction The Imperial Diet was the deliberative body of the Holy Roman Empire. It was not a legislative body in the contemporary sense; its members envisioned it more like a central forum where it was more[…]

Sequestration: The Long Consequences of Stealing a Medieval Papal Election

During the sede vacante in 1241, Frederick II blocked the arrival of some cardinal electors known to be hostile to his interests. Introduction The 1241 papal election (21 September to 25 October)[1] saw the election of Cardinal Goffredo da Castiglione as Pope Celestine IV. The election took place during the first of many protracted sede[…]

How Hitler Became Germany’s Fascist Führer

Hitler took advantage of severe conditions at the time that were extremely favorable for the fast growth of his monstrous movement. Introduction In 1934, after the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler became the absolute dictator of Germany under the title Fuhrer or “Leader”. He ruled Germany with an iron fist[…]

Mussolini’s Rise to Power as Italy’s Fascist Dictator

Mussolini and his Fascists effectively used violence and terror to gain control. Introduction In 1922, Benito Mussolini (Il Duce) came to power as the prime minister of Italy and the leader of the National Fascist Party. At first, he ruled democratically and constitutionally, but in 1925, he turned Italy into a one-party, totalitarian state, and[…]

The Tyrants of Ancient Greece

A tyrant was a sole ruler in a Greek city-state, usually a usurper, who held power in defiance of a city’s constitution. The Greek word tyrannos is probably derived from Lydian tûran, “lord”, and simply means “sole ruler”. The word is neutral, has associations with wealth and power and can therefore be synonymous with expressions[…]

Witch Trial Hysteria in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds

Natural events and pandemics contributed to the hysteria surrounding the witch trials of the 16th through 18th centuries. Introduction The witch trials in the early modern period were a series of witch hunts between the 15th and 18th centuries, when across early modern Europe, and to some extent in the European colonies in North America,[…]

A History of the Anti-Semitic ‘Blood Libel’ Hoax since the Middle Ages

This hoax has resulted in the arrest and killing of Jews throughout history. Introduction Blood libel or ritual murder libel (also blood accusation) is an antisemitic canard which accuses Jews of murdering Christian children in order to use their blood as part of religious rituals. Historically, these claims—alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration—have[…]

Brewing Beer in Ancient Mesopotamia

Beer was extremely popular in ancient Mesopotamia. Sipped through straws, it was enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Introduction People have been gathering over a beer for thousands of years. As an archaeologist, I can tell you the history of beer stretches deep into the human past – and the history of bars[…]

A Long History of Condescension and Apathy in the Presidency

Open arrogance and caring only about their own political pursuits became the name of the game. The fury over racial injustice that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s killing has forced Americans to confront their history. That’s unfamiliar territory for most Americans, whose historical knowledge amounts to a vague blend of fact and myth[…]

Running for President and the Political Machine since George Washington

The technical qualifications for candidates are the same, but how people seek the nation’s highest office has shifted over the centuries. Introduction The requirements have stayed the same – just about any natural-born citizen over the age of 35 can run for president. But who decides who runs has changed substantially. So has campaigning. Nowadays,[…]

Diocletian’s Tetrarchy: Attempting to Stabilize a Divided Roman Empire

Diocletian restructured the Roman government by establishing the Tetrarchy – four men sharing rule over the massive Roman Empire. Introduction Diocletian was Roman emperor from 284 to 305 CE. Born to a family of low status in the Roman province of Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become cavalry commander to[…]

Fratricide: The Mythology of Romulus and Remus and the Founding of Ancient Rome

There is no evidence concerning the historicity of the Romulus and Remus mythology. Introduction The Romulus and Remus legend is perhaps one of the most famous myths in all Roman mythology and one of the best-known myths of all time. The story of the twins is the foundation-myth of Ancient Rome and it was central[…]

The Steampunk Doctor: Practicing Medicine in a Victorian Mechanical Age

Steampunk examines the consequences extraordinary medical discoveries can have on both individuals and societies. Abstract Influenced by both 19th-century literature and popular representations of science, the figure of the medical doctor in steampunk fiction is marked by ambiguity. At the same time a scientist, a wizard and a mechanic, the steampunk doctor exists halfway between[…]

Peculiarities of the Evolution of Machine Technology in Italy during 19th Century

Peculiarities were due to Italian reunification political issues as well as attitudes to science and technology combine with strong individualism. Abstract This paper deals with peculiarities of Italian Industrial Revolution on machinery by looking at aspects on enterprise developments and university frames. The outline showed a historical evolution that started in South Italy and after[…]