Collections: Bread, How Did they Make it? Part III: Actually Farming

As the third part (I, II) 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 big ones and … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did they Make it? Part III: Actually Farming

Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part II: Big Farms

This is the second part (I, III) 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 the mechanics of … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part II: Big Farms

Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part I: Farmers!

This essay will hopefully be the first post in a series (II, III) 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 many tasks … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part I: Farmers!

Collections: The Practical Case on Why We Need the Humanities

I have been holding off writing something like this, because it is often such a well-worn topic and I hardly wanted to preach to the converted. But at the same time, the humanities need all of the defenses they can get and I've found, looking at the genre, that my answers for why we need … Continue reading Collections: The Practical Case on Why We Need the Humanities

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

This is 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 … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VIII: The Mind of Saruman

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VII: Hanging by a Thread

This is is the seventh part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV, V, VI) 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 weapons and armor of the film sequence … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VII: Hanging by a Thread

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VI: Is This a Good Sword?

This is is the sixth part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV, V) 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 Saruman's siege tactics and found them badly wanting. Even … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VI: Is This a Good Sword?

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part V: Ladders are Chaos

This is is the fifth part of a series taking a historian's look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. In our last two parts, we looked at the organization of the two opposing forces. … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part V: Ladders are Chaos

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part IV: Men of Rohan

This is the fourth part of a series taking a historian's look at the Battle of Helm's Deep (I, II, III) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. In the last part, we looked in some depth at the organization of the host of Saruman … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part IV: Men of Rohan