This week we are starting a four-part look at pre-modern iron and steel production. As with our series on farming, we are going to follow the train of iron production from the mine to a finished object, be that a tool, a piece of armor, a simple nail, a weapon or some other object. And … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It? Part I, Mining
This week, we're going to be a bit silly and talk about the recently released grand strategy computer game Crusader Kings III, because quite a few of you asked for it. Now from the beginning I should note that this isn't a game review. As a game, Crusader Kings III is clearly a tremendous success … Continue reading Miscellanea: My Thoughts on Crusader Kings III
As an addendum on to our four-part look at the general structures of the farming of cereal grains (I, II, III, IV) this post is going to briefly discuss some of the key ways that the structures of rice farming differ from the structures of wheat and barley farming. We'll start with some of the … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Addendum: Rice!
Hey Folks! Fireside this week; next week, I hope to start up our next "How Did They Make It" series, focusing on iron production. I say 'hope' because COVID-19 related disruptions continue (my current university moved all classes online last week and has started moving students off campus this week) and it seems that no … Continue reading Fireside Friday, August 28, 2020
As the fourth and final part (I, II, III) of our look at the basic structure of food production in the pre-modern world (particularly farming grain to make bread), this week we're going to look at how at least some of the delicious food we made in the last post might make its way into … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part IV: Markets, Merchants and the Tax Man
Hey folks! Fireside this week - sorry for those of you who were waiting patiently for the last post on cereal farming. I had hoped to have it ready to go, but the start of fall semester teaching has pushed that off until next week. Those who pay less attention to higher education news may … Continue reading Fireside Friday: August 14th, 2020
As the third part (I, II, III, IV, A) of our look at the basic structure of food production in the pre-modern world (particularly farming grain to make bread) we're going to finally look at how one actually farms grain to make bread. Now that we have all of our farmers in place, both the … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did they Make it? Part III: Actually Farming
This is the second part (I, II, III, IV, A) of our look at the basic structure of food production (particularly grains to make bread) in the pre-modern world. Last week, we began by looking at the great majority of our rural population, the little farmers. Now I know everyone is eager to get to … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part II: Big Farms
This essay will hopefully be the first post in a series (II, III, IV, A) covering some of the basics of how things in the past, particularly in the ancient world, were made. This isn't a how-to guide (we're not going to go into that much depth) but instead intended as a window into the … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part I: Farmers!
Hey folks! Fireside this week; musing on a rather silly topic: the practicality of planetary invasions in a science fiction setting. I am working currently on (among other things) getting the "How They Made It" post series started up; those will be a set of post-series detailing how pre-modern societies made all of the stuff … Continue reading Fireside Friday: July 17th, 2020