Who were the Romans? How did they understand themselves as a people and 'Roman' as an identity? And what were the implications of that understanding - and perhaps more importantly the underlying reality - for Roman society and the success of the Roman Empire? This is the first part of a series looking at these … Continue reading Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans? Part I: Beginnings and Legends
This is the fourth and last part of our series (I, II, III, IV) examining the historical assumptions of Europa Universalis IV, Paradox Interactive's historical grand strategy computer game set in the early modern period. Last time we looked at how Europa Universalis IV often struggles to reflect the early modern history of places and … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Europa Universalis IV, Part IV: Why Europe?
This is the first post in a series (I, II, III, IV) that will be examining the historical assumptions of Paradox Interactive's grand strategy computer game set in the early modern period, Europa Universalis IV. And this series will in turn be part of a larger series looking at several of Paradox's games and how … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Europa Universalis IV, Part I: State of Play
This is the third and final part of a discussion (I, IIa, IIb) discussion of the notion that there is a 'universal warrior' - a transcendent sameness about either the experience of war or ‘warrior values’ which might provide some sort of useful blueprint for life generally or some sort of fundamental truth about the … Continue reading Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part III: The Cult of the Badass
This is the third part of a four part (I, II, IV) look at the Dothraki from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO's Game of Thrones. We’re looking at, in particular, the degree to which George R.R. Martin’s claim that the Dothraki are “an amalgam of a number of steppe … Continue reading Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part III: Horse Fiddles
This week we are taking another trip through a medieval author, this time the Occitan noble and troubadour Bertran de Born. This trip ought to be read closely with our trip through, Dhuoda of Uzès, as both exemplify the values and thinking of the medieval European aristocracy (though note that Dhuoda writes some 350 years … Continue reading Collections: A Trip Through Bertran de Born (Martial Values in the 12th Century Occitan Nobility)
This is Part IIIa of our four-part series (I, II) looking at what I've termed the 'Fremen Mirage.' We defined the core tenets of this pop-historical notion in more detail in the first post, that hard times and hard lands lead to moral purity and combat effectiveness, while good times, wealth and luxury lead to … Continue reading Collections: The Fremen Mirage Part IIIa: …by the Princess Irulan
At long last, Relic Entertainment has announced that Age of Empires 4 is coming. Strategy gamers rejoice! I am excited - I played the first one back in '98 (I may be dating myself here). But the news brought me back to a common problem with many games of this type and with Age of … Continue reading Collections: Why Are There No Empires in Age of Empires?
Last week as part II of our four part look at ancient polytheistic religious practice (I, II, IV), we looked at some of the basic functions of polytheistic practice, centered on the concept of do ut des, striking a bargain with the god. This week, we're going to turn to another key set of rituals: … Continue reading Collections: Practical Polytheism, Part III: Polling the Gods
Part II of a series at the underpinnings of ancient polytheistic (Greek, Roman, Mesopotamian, Norse, etc) religious practice.