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?

Collections: The Lonely City, Part I: The Ideal City

This week and next, we're going to look at an issue not of battles, but of settings: pre-modern cities - particularly the trope of the city, town or castle set out all alone in the middle of empty spaces. Why does the city or castle-town set amidst a sea of grass feel so off? And … Continue reading Collections: The Lonely City, Part I: The Ideal City

Collections: Punching Through Some Armor Myths

This week, we're going to talk about armor effectiveness, comparing the value of body-armor before gunpowder with what gets portrayed in fiction and broader pop culture. What does it take to defeat armor? What weapons were effective at defeating armor - and what kinds of armor were they effective against? I should note that I … Continue reading Collections: Punching Through Some Armor Myths

Collections: The Siege of Gondor: Part VI: Black Sails and Gleaming Banners

This is the sixth and final part of a six part series taking a military historian's look at the Siege of Gondor in Peter Jackson's adaptation of Return of the King. You can find the other parts linked here (I, II, III, IV and V). This time, we are going to look at how the … Continue reading Collections: The Siege of Gondor: Part VI: Black Sails and Gleaming Banners