Hey folks! Fireside this week. Next week, we're going to start a two-part 'Trip Through' looking at medieval martial poetry, first by the 12th century Occitan troubadour Bertran de Born, and then by the sixth century Arab warrior-poet Antarah Ibn Shaddad. The sword is a modern replica I've had for a number of years. I … Continue reading Fireside Friday: April 3, 2020
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)
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)
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?
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
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
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. This post is now available in audio format here. So the Game of Thrones is supposedly over, with the major Lords … Continue reading New Acquisitions: Elective Monarchy and the Future of Westeros