This week we're going to take a look at the worldbuilding of Amazon Studio's Rings of Power from a historical realism perspective. I think it is no great secret that Rings of Power broadly failed to live up to expectations and left a lot of audiences disappointed. In the aftermath of that disappointment, once one … Continue reading Collections: Why Rings of Power’s Middle Earth Feels Flat
This is the third part of a three part (I, II, III) look at some of the practical concerns of managing pre-industrial logistics. In our last post, we outlined what 'foraging' actually entailed - how armies got supplies both from friendly populations but also from neutral or hostile populations. In particular, we focused on the … Continue reading Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part III: On the Move
Fireside this week! We've just moved and I am settling in to my new home office, but the slow process of unpacking all of my books has delayed Logistics, Part III. I can, however, give you a picture of the new Fireside, albeit unlit because it is Augustus in the Carolinas and that means it … Continue reading Fireside Friday, August 5, 2022
This is the second part of a three part (I, II, III) look at some of the practical concerns of managing pre-industrial logistics. In our last post we outlined the members of our 'campaign community,' including soldiers but also non-combatants and animals (both war- and draft-); they required massive amounts of supplies, particularly food but … Continue reading Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part II: Foraging
In this three-part series (I, II, III) we’re going to be bowing to reader demand and taking a close look at the nuts and bolts of maintaining an army in the field. In our last series, after all, we noted that before gunpowder the ability of a general to affect the course of a battle … Continue reading Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part I: The Problem
Fireside this week! We're in the last few weeks of the semester, but semesters tend to 'crescendo' rather than 'wind down' so there has been a lot going on. I'll probably be posting a gap week for next week (Friday, April 29) because I'll be at the annual meeting of the Society for Military History … Continue reading Fireside Friday, April 22, 2022
This series is now available in audio format. You can find the playlist here. This is the second part of a four part (I, II, III, IV) look at the Dothraki, the fictional horse-borne nomads of the A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones series. We're looking at, in particular, the degree … Continue reading Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part II: Subsistence on the Hoof
Thanks to our helpful volunteer narrator, this entire post series is now also available in audio format! 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 … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Addendum: Rice!
Thanks to our helpful volunteer narrator, this entire post series is now also available in audio format! 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 … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part I: Farmers!
This is the long-awaited first part of a series (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII. VIII) taking a historian's look at the Battle of Helm's Deep from both J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson's 2002 film of the same name. We're going to discuss how historically plausible each sequence of events … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part I: Bargaining for Goods at Helm’s Gate