Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIb: Cracks in the House of Islam

This is the back half of the second part of a four part series (I, IIa) examining the historical assumptions behind the popular medieval grand strategy game Crusader Kings III, made by Paradox Interactive. Last time we looked at how the game tried to mechanically simulate the internal structure of the highly fragmented polities of … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIb: Cracks in the House of Islam

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIa: Rascally Vassals

This is the second part of a four-part (I) series examining the historical assumptions of the popular historical grand strategy game Crusader Kings III, by Paradox Interactive. Last time we opened by discussing how CKIII attempts to simulate and represent the distinctly personal character of rule and decision-making in the Middle Ages and how this … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIa: Rascally Vassals

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part I: Making It Personal

This is the first post in a four-part series examining the historical assumptions of Crusader Kings III, a historical grand strategy game by Paradox Interactive set during the Middle Ages and covering Europe, North Africa and both West and Central Asia. This is also the continuation of a larger series on Paradox's historical grand strategy … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part I: Making It Personal

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

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!

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: 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: 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, IV, V, VI, VII. VIII) 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 … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part IV: Men of Rohan

Collections: A Trip Through Bertran de Born (Martial Values in the 12th Century Occitan Nobility)

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)

Collections: Archery, Distance and ‘Kiting’

This week, we're going to look at how the effectiveness of arrow fire - especially against armored targets - varies over distance. This is, in a sense, a continuation of my previous post on armor penetration, "Punching Through Some Armor Myths," so you may want to refer back occasionally. This is going to be a … Continue reading Collections: Archery, Distance and ‘Kiting’