The Know-Nothings: Populism Using Nativism as Political Strategy in the Mid-19th Century

In the end, the Know Nothings were a partisan flash in the pan, but they made nativism a political strategy. By Dr. Michael Todd LandisHistorian and Author Though the United States is a nation built by immigrants, nativism—the fear of immigrants and the desire to restrict their entry into the country or curtail their rights[…]

Maximilien Robespierre, a Violent Flash in the Populist Pan

His name is associated with the Reign of Terror which claimed thousands of lives of “enemies of the Revolution.” Introduction Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (May 6, 1758 – July 28, 1794) was one of the primary leaders of the French Revolution. His supporters knew him as “the Incorruptible” because of his austere moral[…]

Late Medieval Translation of Ancient Texts

During the fifteenth century, and notably in Italy, the art of translating was profoundly changed by Humanists as well as by a better knowledge of the Greek language and Greek texts. Practices changed and multiplied, while an increasingly intense theoretical reflection emerged regarding the very phenomenon of translation. Summary The Renaissance was a crucial period[…]

“Woe Unto Those Who Know Not How to Syllabificate”: The Languages of Medieval Law

Lawyers spoke their own language, even in the Middle Ages. When John of Salisbury (ca. 1115-1180) decried the dishonesty of lawyers in his Policraticus, he targeted the incomprehensibility of their legalese, complaining that “they snare simple men in nets of impenetrable jargon … ‘Woe unto those who know not how to syllabificate.’”[1] The sentiment expressed by John[…]

The Teotihuacan Anomaly: The Historical Trajectory of Urban Design in Ancient Central Mexico

The ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan had the most aberrant design of any city in ancient Mesoamerica. Abstract The ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan had the most aberrant design of any city in ancient Mesoamerica. I examine similarities and differences between the design of Teotihuacan and other Mesoamerican cities. During the Preclassic period, a set[…]

Mesoamerican Architecture from the Ancient to Medieval Worlds

Mesoamerican architecture is the set of architectural traditions produced by pre-Columbian cultures and civilizations of Mesoamerica. Introduction Mesoamerican architecture is the set of architectural traditions produced by pre-Columbian cultures and civilizations of Mesoamerica, traditions which are best known in the form of public, ceremonial and urban monumental buildings and structures. The distinctive features of Mesoamerican architecture encompass a number of different[…]

Lyndon Baines Johnson, the Gulf of Tonkin, and a Manufactured War

Questions about the Gulf of Tonkin incidents have persisted for more than 40 years. Introduction Questions about the Gulf of Tonkin incidents have persisted for more than 40 years. But once-classified documents and tapes released in the past several years, combined with previously uncovered facts, make clear that high government officials distorted facts and deceived[…]

Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare, a Manufactured Communist Crisis

“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist party?” Introduction In the 1950s, thousands of Americans who toiled in the government, served in the army, worked in the movie industry, or came from various walks of life had to answer that question before a congressional panel. Senator Joseph McCarthy rose to[…]

The Unsinkable Myth

Exploring the various legends surrounding the world’s most famous ship. By Dr. Richard HowellsProfessor of Cultural SociologyKing’s College London There can be no one, surely, reading this article who has not already heard of the Titanic. And there can be no one among them, equally certainly, who does not already know how the story of[…]

The Many Lives of Ned Coxere: Were British Sailors Really British?

How to get away with smuggling in the Early Modern world? Be someone else! By Alexis Harasemovitch-TruaxPhD Candidate in HistoryThe University of Texas at Austin The Spanish Man-of-War is bearing down on the English merchant ship and Ned is in the cabin, stuffing Barbary Ducats into his hat and shoes. After escaping from Spanish captivity,[…]

Megalithism and Tribal Ritualism: A Passage through the Kurumbas of Attappadi

Analyzing the existence of Megalithic traits as a living tradition among the Kurumba tribe of Attappadi. Abstract The study of mortuary practices of Megalithic communities and its use as the basis for reconstructing the past society is unique in archaeology as it represents the direct and purposeful culmination of conscious behavior of the followers of[…]

Quests for Fire: Neanderthals and Science Fiction

By 1914, paleoanthropology recognized five species of human ancestors, two sub-species, and the tangible evidence of humanity’s antiquity proved utterly captivating. The Quest Begins: Neanderthals Meet Science Fiction In 1856, workers at a limestone quarry in the Neander Valley of Germany turned over a curious set of skeletal remains to a local amateur naturalist, Johann[…]

George Platt Lynes: An Early-20th Century Gay Photographer and His Legacy

Lynes was a highly sought-after commercial and fashion photographer in the 1930s and 1940s. But he had to keep his most important body of work hidden away. From the late 1920s until his death in 1955, George Platt Lynes was one of the world’s most successful commercial and fine art photographers. His work was included[…]

18th-Century Voyage for the Northwest Passage

There were many expeditions in search of a Northwest Passage during the 1700s. They include the voyages of Frances Smith, Samuel Hearne and James Cook. By the end of the century, George Vancouver had explored the northwest coast in detail. In 1670 the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) was founded as a commercial enterprise to obtain[…]

Mining the Languages of Empire in the Early Americas

The silver industry influenced life in the colonial Americas and the Atlantic world on social, political, and economic levels. “Oye hueón está tan rica la mina,” one operative said to his friend on a typical March day in the altiplano, nearly ten years ago. It was warm in the sunny spaces where they walked, and chilly[…]

The Architectural Patronage and Political Prowess of Herod the Great

Herod created architecture that implemented Roman technology, designs, and styles, while co-mingling them with his existing Hellenistic style of architecture. Abstract After supporting Marc Antony in the Battle of Actium (31 B.C.), King Herod, fearful of losing his power, went to Rome, apologized to Augustus and assured him that he was his biggest supporter. Augustus,[…]

The Probable Pagan Origin of an Ancient Jewish Custom: Purification with Red Heifer’s Ashes

The Jewish red heifer ash ritual may have originated in surrounding pagan cultures reflecting the transition from pantheism to monotheism. Dr. Efraim LevAssistant Professor of Israel StudiesUniversity of Haifa Dr. Simcha Lev-YadunProfessor of BiologyUniversity of Haifa Abstract One of the most enigmatic of all ancient Jewish religious customs was the use of ashes of a[…]

A Chilling Proposal in the 1920s for an Orphanage Scientific Study

The history of race science is a history of racist science, as epitomized by this proposed but never carried-out experiment from the early 20th century. In the late 1920s, scientists hatched an outrageous plan to settle a question at the heart of American racial thought: were differences between racial groups driven by environment or by[…]

Foundlings and Orphans in 18th-Century England

Exploring the world of poverty, high mortality, prejudice and charity that influenced the creation of Oliver Twist. Introduction Children lacking one or both parents are a frequent theme in Charles Dickens’s novels, which would not have surprised his Victorian readers because high mortality at the time meant that becoming an orphan was not a rare misfortune.[…]

The Magyars, from Prehistory to Modern Hungary

Hungary’s traits are rooted in this a history of fluid borders, as well as the strong migratory tendencies of people of Hungarian ancestry. Introduction Hungarians or Magyars[5] are an ethnic group primarily associated with Hungary. The word Hungarian has also a wider meaning, because – especially in the past – it referred to all inhabitants of the Kingdom of Hungary irrespective of their[…]

Aspasia of Miletus: The Art of Eloquence

Aspasia was a woman of formidable intelligence and eloquence who influenced many of the important writers, thinkers, and statesmen of her time. Aspasia of Miletus (470-410 BCE, approximately) is best known as the consort and close companion of the great Athenian statesman Pericles. She was a metic (a person not born in Athens) and, accordingly, was not allowed to marry[…]

Deadly Notes: Atlantic Soundscapes and the Writing of the Middle Passage

The ships traveling the pathways of the Middle Passage—and beyond—were anything but silent spaces. “A Kind of Chorus” [S]ince speech was forbidden, slaves camouflaged the word under the provocative intensity of the scream. No one could translate the meaning of what seemed to be nothing but a shout. It was taken to be nothing but[…]

Supernatural Sound: Science and Shamanism in the Arctic

The Arctic became a place beyond empirical grasp: the real/fantasy land of orality about which those living within the textual horizon of rational empiricism dreamed with fear and longing. Toolemak’s Voice Scanning the horizon off the coast of Greenland in 1822, William Scoresby witnessed the impossible: floating in the sky was an upside down ship.[…]

Hearing, Sensing, Feeling Sound: On Music and Physiology in Victorian England, 1857-1894

Acoustical science fundamentally transformed the ways that Victorians conceptualized the relations between aesthetics and the body. This article focuses on new developments in the burgeoning field of acoustical science that emerged in the mid-to-late-nineteenth century. During this time, sound science began to flourish in England, particularly through lectures by Hermann von Helmholtz and John Tyndall[…]

Tuned to the Senses: An Archaeoacoustic Perspective on Ancient Chavín

The ancient pilgrimage center at Chavín provides the multifaceted material evidence needed for an archaeoacoustic case study. By Dr. Miriam KolarLead InvestigatorChavín de Huántar Archaeological Acoustics ProjectStanford University Sound and Archaeology Buttressed into the Peruvian Andes, the ancient mortared-stone complex at Chavín de Huántar resonates with sound and story. Visitors to this 3,000-year-old ceremonial center[…]

Acoustics of Ancient Greek Theaters

The sound quality in ancient times was likely much better than it is today. By Brigit Katz It is often said that the acoustics of ancient Greek theaters were so sophisticated that spectators in the back row could hear the actors with perfect clarity, long before microphones came into the picture. In modern times, tour guides will[…]