Collections: Ancient ‘Tanks’? Chariots, Scythed Chariots and Carroballistae

Building on last week's post on tanks and a few of the comments there, this week I wanted to talk about the ancient (and medieval) weapon-systems often analogized to tanks and the degree to which they had a role similar to tanks. I have lost count of how many times I have seen in this … Continue reading Collections: Ancient ‘Tanks’? Chariots, Scythed Chariots and Carroballistae

Collections: Expeditions: Rome and the Perils of Verisimilitude

This week we're going to take a long look at Expeditions: Rome, a turn-based tactics RPG by developer Logic Artists, set in the first century BC Late Roman Republic. In particular, we're going to look at how the game both constructs and uses its historical setting. This is a particularly important topic to discuss because … Continue reading Collections: Expeditions: Rome and the Perils of Verisimilitude

Collections: The Roman Dictatorship: How Did It Work? Did It Work?

This week, we're taking a break from the modern world to tackle the 'runner up' question from the first ACOUP Senate poll: How did the Roman dictatorship work and was it effective? This is one of those questions that seems very simple but isn't. After all, what most people know about the Roman dictatorship is … Continue reading Collections: The Roman Dictatorship: How Did It Work? Did It Work?

Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part III: Things

This is the third and final part (I, II) of our series tackling the complicated and still debated question of 'how bad was the fall of Rome (in the West)?' In our first part, we looked at the question through the prism of 'words' - language, culture, religion and literature. There we found a lot … Continue reading Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part III: Things

Collections: Fortification, Part II: Romans Playing Cards

This is the second part of a five part (I) series covering some of the basics of fortifications, from city walls to field fortifications, from the ancient world through the modern period. Last time, we looked as the ancient besieger's playbook (both the motives and options for taking walled cities) through a case study of … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part II: Romans Playing Cards

Collections: Fortification, Part I: The Besieger’s Playbook

This is the first part of a planned five-part series covering some of the basics of fortifications, from city walls to castles and field fortifications! We are going to discuss what fortifications were for and how their design changed in response both to different strategic and operational conditions and also to changing technology. Throughout this, … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part I: The Besieger’s Playbook

Meet a Historian: Michael Taylor on Why We Need Classics

This post is now available in audio format here. Note from the Editor: This week, Michael Taylor joins us to present A Defense of Classics. The last decade or so has seen Classics (the study of Mediterranean antiquity or more narrowly the study of Greece and Rome) in a hard sort of quandary. On the … Continue reading Meet a Historian: Michael Taylor on Why We Need Classics

Referenda ad Senatum: August 6, 2021: Feelings at the Fall of the Republic, Ancient and Medieval Living Standards, and Zombies!

Welcome! This is going to be the first of a new sort of post we'll do from time to time where I answer a number of shorter questions posed by my patrons over at Patreon who are at the Patres et Matres Conscripti tier, which entitles them to a seat in the ACOUP Senate (which … Continue reading Referenda ad Senatum: August 6, 2021: Feelings at the Fall of the Republic, Ancient and Medieval Living Standards, and Zombies!

Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans, Part V: Saving And Losing an Empire

This is the fifth and final part (I, II, III, IV) of our series asking the question 'Who were the Romans?' How did they understand themselves as a people and the idea of ‘Roman’ as an identity? Was this a homogeneous, ethnically defined group, as some versions of pop folk history would have it, or … Continue reading Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans, Part V: Saving And Losing an Empire

Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans? Part III: Bigotry and Diversity at Rome

This is the third part (I, II, III, IV, V) of a series asking the question "Who were the Romans?' How did they understand themselves as a people and the idea of 'Roman' as an identity? Was this a homogeneous, ethnically defined group, as some versions of pop folk history would have it, or was … Continue reading Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans? Part III: Bigotry and Diversity at Rome