Collections: Expeditions: Rome and the Perils of Verisimilitude

This week we're going to take a long look at Expeditions: Rome, a turn-based tactics RPG by developer Logic Artists, set in the first century BC Late Roman Republic. In particular, we're going to look at how the game both constructs and uses its historical setting. This is a particularly important topic to discuss because … Continue reading Collections: Expeditions: Rome and the Perils of Verisimilitude

Collections: The Roman Dictatorship: How Did It Work? Did It Work?

This week, we're taking a break from the modern world to tackle the 'runner up' question from the first ACOUP Senate poll: How did the Roman dictatorship work and was it effective? This is one of those questions that seems very simple but isn't. After all, what most people know about the Roman dictatorship is … Continue reading Collections: The Roman Dictatorship: How Did It Work? Did It Work?

Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part III: Things

This is the third and final part (I, II) of our series tackling the complicated and still debated question of 'how bad was the fall of Rome (in the West)?' In our first part, we looked at the question through the prism of 'words' - language, culture, religion and literature. There we found a lot … Continue reading Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part III: Things

Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans? Part III: Bigotry and Diversity at Rome

This is the third part (I, II, III, IV, V) of a series asking the question "Who were the Romans?' How did they understand themselves as a people and the idea of 'Roman' as an identity? Was this a homogeneous, ethnically defined group, as some versions of pop folk history would have it, or was … Continue reading Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans? Part III: Bigotry and Diversity at Rome

Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans, Part II: Citizens and Allies

This is the second part (I, II, III, IV, V) of a series asking the question 'Who were the Romans?' How did they understand themselves as a people and the idea of 'Roman' as an identity? Was this a homogeneous, ethnically defined group, as some versions of pop folk history would have it, or was … Continue reading Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans, Part II: Citizens and Allies

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Europa Universalis IV, Part II: Red Queens

This is the second part in a series (I, II, III, IV) that examines the historical assumptions behind Paradox Interactive's grand strategy computer game set in the early modern period, Europa Universalis IV (EU4). Last time, we took a look at how EU4 was a game fundamentally about states and how the decision to orient … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Europa Universalis IV, Part II: Red Queens

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Europa Universalis IV, Part I: State of Play

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

Miscellanea: Insurrections, Ancient and Modern (And Also Meet the Academicats)

So this week I want to talk about how what I know a historian influences how I am interpreting what I am going to call the Capitol Insurrection that happened on Wednesday, January 6 instead of taking the week off as I had originally planned. Since that is a really heavy topic, I am also … Continue reading Miscellanea: Insurrections, Ancient and Modern (And Also Meet the Academicats)

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)