Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part I: High Fiber

This week we are starting the first of a four (?) part look at pre-modern textile production. As with our series on farming and iron, we are going to follow the sequence of production from the growing of fibers all the way to the finished object, with a focus not merely on the methods of … Continue reading Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part I: High Fiber

Fireside Friday, February 26, 2021

Fireside this week, but next week we are diving into our long awaited series on pre-modern textile production, though we will be particularly focused on the most important clothing fibers in the Mediterranean world, wool and linen (rather than, say, silk or cotton). Trusty Research Assistant Oliver helping me find the right volume of the … Continue reading Fireside Friday, February 26, 2021

Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part III: The Cult of the Badass

This is the third and final part of a discussion (I, IIa, IIb) discussion of the notion that there is a 'universal warrior' - a transcendent sameness about either the experience of war or ‘warrior values’ which might provide some sort of useful blueprint for life generally or some sort of fundamental truth about the … Continue reading Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part III: The Cult of the Badass

Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part IIb: A Soldier’s Lot

This is the continuation of the second part of a three part (I, IIa, III) discussion of the notion that there is a 'universal warrior' - a transcendent sameness about either the experience of war or 'warrior values' which might provide some sort of useful blueprint for life generally or some sort of fundamental truth … Continue reading Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part IIb: A Soldier’s Lot

Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part IIa: The Many Faces of Battle

This is the second part of a three part (I, II) discussion of the idea of a 'universal warrior' - the assumption that there is a transcendent sameness about either the experience of war or 'warrior values' which might provide some sort of fundamental truth for understanding war, either in the past or present, or … Continue reading Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part IIa: The Many Faces of Battle

Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part I: Soldiers, Warriors, and…

This is the first part of a three part (II, III) discussion of an idea I am going to term (borrowing from one of its proponents) the 'universal warrior' - the idea that there is a transcendent sameness about either the warrior experience or warrior values which provides some sort of useful blueprint for today … Continue reading Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part I: Soldiers, Warriors, and…

Fireside Friday, January 22, 2021

It's the first week of classes, so fireside this week. Next week, we'll dive into a short series looking at the question of the 'universal warrior,' the idea - too often repeated - that there is either a single consistent experience or personality true to all combatants to the present day. Also, for those who … Continue reading Fireside Friday, January 22, 2021

Miscellanea: Insurrections, Ancient and Modern (And Also Meet the Academicats)

So this week I want to talk about how what I know a historian influences how I am interpreting what I am going to call the Capitol Insurrection that happened on Wednesday, January 6 instead of taking the week off as I had originally planned. Since that is a really heavy topic, I am also … Continue reading Miscellanea: Insurrections, Ancient and Modern (And Also Meet the Academicats)

Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part IV: Screamers and Howlers

This is the fourth part of a four part (I, II, III) look at the Dothraki from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO's Game of Thrones. We're looking at, in particular, if Martin's claim that the Dothraki are “an amalgam of a number of steppe and plains cultures” can … Continue reading Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part IV: Screamers and Howlers