This week, on a bit of a lark, we're going to discuss the most common weapon, by far, in the Iron Age Mediterranean (focusing on the period from the 8th to the 1st centuries BC): the humble, effective and ubiquitous thrusting spear. In particular, I want to discuss the striking fact that despite the wide … Continue reading Collections: The Mediterranean Iron Omni-Spear
Welcome! As we've done before, this week I am going to take a chance to answer a few shorter questions posed by my patrons over at Patreon who are the Patres et Matres Conscripti of the ACOUP Senate. As with previous responses, the answers here may not be as exhaustive or careful as they would … Continue reading Referenda ad Senatum: January 13, 2023: Roman Traditionalism, Ancient Dates and Imperial Spies
This is the continuation of the third part of our three(ish) part (I, II, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc) series looking at the role of the general in commanding pre-gunpowder armies in battle. Last time we looked at how an army's discipline could limit or expand the options available to its general: drill creating synchronized discipline could … Continue reading Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part IIIb: Officers
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?
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
Who were the Romans? How did they understand themselves as a people and 'Roman' as an identity? And what were the implications of that understanding - and perhaps more importantly the underlying reality - for Roman society and the success of the Roman Empire? This is the first part of a series (I, II, III, … Continue reading Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans? Part I: Beginnings and Legends
This is the seventh 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. Last time, we looked at the weapons and armor of the film … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VII: Hanging by a Thread
This is Part IIIa of our four-part series (I, II) looking at what I've termed the 'Fremen Mirage.' We defined the core tenets of this pop-historical notion in more detail in the first post, that hard times and hard lands lead to moral purity and combat effectiveness, while good times, wealth and luxury lead to … Continue reading Collections: The Fremen Mirage Part IIIa: …by the Princess Irulan