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: A Trip Through Dhuoda of Uzès (Carolingian Values)

This week, we're taking another trip, this time through a medieval author, in this case looking at a selection of passages from Dhuoda of Uzès, Duchess of Septimania's Liber Manualis ("Handbook") for her son William and discussing the model of noble relationships it presents. Dhuoda is a fascinating figure both for the ways she is … Continue reading Collections: A Trip Through Dhuoda of Uzès (Carolingian Values)

Collections: A Trip Through Cicero (Natural Law)

This week, we're taking another trip through an ancient author, in this case looking at a passage from Cicero's De legibus ("On the Laws") and discussing Cicero's vision of the origin of laws and how those ideas have found their way into current thinking. Cicero was a remarkably prolific author, and a tremendous amount of … Continue reading Collections: A Trip Through Cicero (Natural Law)

Collections: Why Are There No Empires in Age of Empires?

At long last, Relic Entertainment has announced that Age of Empires 4 is coming. Strategy gamers rejoice! I am excited - I played the first one back in '98 (I may be dating myself here). But the news brought me back to a common problem with many games of this type and with Age of … Continue reading Collections: Why Are There No Empires in Age of Empires?

Collections: This. Isn’t. Sparta, Part V: Spartan Government

This week, we're going to look at how the Spartan state governs itself. We're going to lay out a broad picture of how the parts of the Spartan government function, but we are remaining focused on one main question, the one we raised last time: We know that the demographic decline in the number of … Continue reading Collections: This. Isn’t. Sparta, Part V: Spartan Government

Collections: War Elephants, Part III: Elephant Memories

Today, in Part III of our series of war elephants, we are going to look at the place war elephants held in society through two lenses: what war elephants meant to the societies that used them and what they often mean in popular culture - as we'll see, these are connected topics. Previously in this … Continue reading Collections: War Elephants, Part III: Elephant Memories

New Acquisitions: Elective Monarchy and the Future of Westeros

Fair warning: this post will contain spoilers for all of Game of Thrones and likely for all of A Song of Ice and Fire (assuming they share an ending). Proceed at your own risk. So the Game of Thrones is supposedly over, with the major Lords of Westeros deciding to shift to an elective monarchy … Continue reading New Acquisitions: Elective Monarchy and the Future of Westeros