Collections: No Man’s Land, Part I: The Trench Stalemate

This week (and next) I want to build a bit off of our discussion of Victoria II and talk a bit about World War I and in particular the trench stalemate on the Western Front. That trench stalemate is, in many countries, synonymous with the war itself. Of course the war was much larger than … Continue reading Collections: No Man’s Land, Part I: The Trench Stalemate

Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part IV: Screamers and Howlers

This is the fourth part of a four part (I, II, III) 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, if Martin's claim that the Dothraki are “an amalgam of a number of steppe and plains cultures” can … Continue reading Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part IV: Screamers and Howlers

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VIII: The Mind of Saruman

This is the eight and last part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. Last time we looked at the overall impact of morale and … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VIII: The Mind of Saruman

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part I: Bargaining for Goods at Helm’s Gate

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

Collections: This. Isn’t. Sparta. Part VII: Spartan Ends

This is the seven (and last!) part of our seven part series (I, II, III, IV, V, VI) look at Sparta in popular memory and historical truth. Last time we talked about Sparta's battlefield record and came away noting that it was profoundly, disappointing average. Longer term readers will know, of course, that we can't … Continue reading Collections: This. Isn’t. Sparta. Part VII: Spartan Ends

Collections: The Siege of Gondor, Part I: Professionals Talk Logistics

(Note: Thanks to the effort of a kind reader, this post is now available in audio format! The playlist for the entire series may be found here.) This is the first part of a six-part (II, III, IV, V, VI) series I expect to roll out taking a historian’s look at the Siege of Gondor … Continue reading Collections: The Siege of Gondor, Part I: Professionals Talk Logistics