This is the first part of a three part (II, III) look at the Dothraki, the fictional horse-borne nomads of the Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire series and the degree to which George R.R. Martin's claim that they are "an amalgam of a number of steppe and plains cultures" holds … Continue reading Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part I: Barbarian Couture
Hey folks! Fireside this week. A bit of a change-up in terms of the coming attractions. I had planned to start "Textiles, How Did They Make It?" next, but I want to do a bit more reading on some of the initial stages of textile production (that is, the production of raw flax and wool) … Continue reading Fireside Friday, November 27, 2020
We're going to be a bit silly this week (in part because the ending of this compressed semester has left me with little time) and talk about the recently released historical action-RPG computer (and console) game, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, set in 9th century Norway and England. And, as with the last time we did this, … Continue reading Collections: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and the Unfortunate Implications
This week, I want to talk about the discipline of military history: what it is, why it is important and how I see my own place within it. This is going to be a bit of an unusual collections post as it is less about the past itself and more about how we study the … Continue reading Collections: Why Military History?
This week, as an addendum to our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at pre-modern iron and steel production, we're going to look at two alternative regional processes, where they fit into the entire iron production process that we detailed already, how they worked and what kind of product they produced. In … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Addendum: Crucible Steel and Cast Iron
Hey folks! Fireside this week, but I promise we'll see that promised addendum on pre-modern crucible steel and cast iron next week. In the meantime, as you are no doubt inescapably aware, the United States (where I live) is having an election. I mostly avoid politics itself on this blog and that's something I intend … Continue reading Fireside Friday, October 30, 2020
Hey folks! I am, as I mentioned last week, taking this week off in an effort to catch up on my sanity and also some grading and writing I need to be doing. But I didn't want to leave you with nothing, so I thought I might use this as an opportunity to direct some … Continue reading Things You Might Have Missed, October 21, 2020
This week, we close out our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at pre-modern iron and steel production, although I ought to note that there will be at least one addendum discussing pre-modern cast iron and crucible steel (Wootz) production. Last week, we looked at the processes used to create steel from … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVb: Work Hardening, or Hardly Working?
This week, we continue our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at pre-modern iron and steel production. Last week, we looked at how a blacksmith reshapes our iron from a spongy mass called a bloom first into a more workable shape and then finally into some final useful object like a tool. … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVa: Steel Yourself
This week, we continue our four-part (I, II, III, IV) look at pre-modern iron and steel production. Last week we took our ore and smelted it into a rough, spongy mass of iron called a bloom; this week we're going to go through the processes to reshape that bloom first into a consolidated billet, then … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part III: Hammer-time