Collections: War Elephants, Part III: Elephant Memories

Today, in Part III of our series of war elephants, we are going to look at the place war elephants held in society through two lenses: what war elephants meant to the societies that used them and what they often mean in popular culture – as we’ll see, these are connected topics. Previously in this … Continue reading Collections: War Elephants, Part III: Elephant Memories

Collections: War Elephants, Part II: Elephants against Wolves

Today, in Part II of our three part series on War Elephants, we’re going to look at the drawbacks of war elephants. Last time (here), we discussed the factors that made war elephants so powerful on the battlefield. To recap: war elephants had a strong psychological element (they are very scary) and could drastically disrupt … Continue reading Collections: War Elephants, Part II: Elephants against Wolves

Collections: War Elephants, Part I: Battle Pachyderms

Today we’re starting the first part of our three part series on War Elephants (by reader request!). In this first part, we’re going to talk about how elephants performed in battle: how did they fight and what was their battlefield purpose? The second two parts will focus on the (as we’ll see) far more important … Continue reading Collections: War Elephants, Part I: Battle Pachyderms

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VIII: The Mind of Saruman

This is the eight and last part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. Last time we looked at the overall impact of morale and … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VIII: The Mind of Saruman

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part II: Total Warg

This is the second part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII. VIII), from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. Last time, we looked at the operations which led up to the … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part II: Total Warg

Collections: The Lonely City, Part II: Real Cities Have Curves

Last week, we looked at a model for what the countryside around an ‘ideal city’ might look like. Today we’re going to introduce some complications to that model (you will recall, our ideal city existed in a perfectly flat plain of uniform fertility) and see how they change the patterns of land use which in … Continue reading Collections: The Lonely City, Part II: Real Cities Have Curves

Miscellanea: A Brief Discussion of History and Scope, or What Am I Doing Here?

Today, I just want to talk a little about what I’m doing here on the blog and how you might want to read the posts I’m making. I’ll finish up with a sense of what’s in the pipeline. This is going to be less of a prepared mini-essay and a bit more of a fireside … Continue reading Miscellanea: A Brief Discussion of History and Scope, or What Am I Doing Here?