Miscellanea: Thoughts on CKIII: Royal Court

This week, we're going to be a bit silly and talk about the recently released Royal Court, a DLC expansion for Paradox's medieval grand strategy game Crusader Kings III, because I think it is attempting something fairly interesting that relatively few strategy games do. This isn't going to be a review - there are a … Continue reading Miscellanea: Thoughts on CKIII: Royal Court

Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part II: Institutions

This is the second of a three part (I) series tackling the complicated and still very much debated question of 'how bad was the fall of Rome (in the West)?' In the last part, we looked at 'words' - culture, literature, language and religion. What we found is that in these aspects, signs of sharp … Continue reading Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part II: Institutions

Collections: Fortification, Part III: Castling

This is the third part of a five part (I, II) series covering some of the basics of fortifications, from city walls to field fortifications, from the ancient world through to the modern period. Last week, we used the Romans as an example to see how the needs of a given fortification changed its structure … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part III: Castling

Meet a Historian: Robin S. Reich on Making Sense of Medieval Medicine: Humors, Weird Animal Parts, and Experiential Knowledge

Note from the Editor: I'm excited that I have our first (hopefully of many!) guest post to share with you and it is a fascinating topic to start with. The history of medicine (and the history of science more generally) is a captivating and important sub-field and a frequent reader-request, but also a place where … Continue reading Meet a Historian: Robin S. Reich on Making Sense of Medieval Medicine: Humors, Weird Animal Parts, and Experiential Knowledge

Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part III: Spin Me Right Round…

This is the third part of our four part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at the production of textiles, particularly wool and linen, in the pre-modern world. Last time, we processed our raw fibers, removing extraneous material and getting them ready to be turned into thread. Today we're going to continue with that next … Continue reading Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part III: Spin Me Right Round…

Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part I: High Fiber

This week we are starting the first of a four (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) part look at pre-modern textile production. As with our series on farming and iron, we are going to follow the sequence of production from the growing of fibers all the way to the finished object, with a focus not merely … Continue reading Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part I: High Fiber

Collections: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and the Unfortunate Implications

We're going to be a bit silly this week (in part because the ending of this compressed semester has left me with little time) and talk about the recently released historical action-RPG computer (and console) game, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, set in 9th century Norway and England. And, as with the last time we did this, … Continue reading Collections: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and the Unfortunate Implications

Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It? Part I, Mining

This week we are starting a four-part look (I, II, III, IVa, IVb, addendum) 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 … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It? Part I, Mining

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

Thanks to our helpful volunteer narrator, this entire post series is now also available in audio format! 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 … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did they Make it? Part III: Actually Farming

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

Thanks to our helpful volunteer narrator, this entire post series is now also available in audio format! 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 … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part II: Big Farms