Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part IIb: A Soldier’s Lot

This is the continuation of the second part of a three part (I, IIa, III) discussion of the notion that there is a 'universal warrior' - a transcendent sameness about either the experience of war or 'warrior values' which might provide some sort of useful blueprint for life generally or some sort of fundamental truth … Continue reading Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part IIb: A Soldier’s Lot

Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part IIa: The Many Faces of Battle

This is the second part of a three part (I, II) discussion of the idea of a 'universal warrior' - the assumption that there is a transcendent sameness about either the experience of war or 'warrior values' which might provide some sort of fundamental truth for understanding war, either in the past or present, or … Continue reading Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part IIa: The Many Faces of Battle

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: That Dothraki Horde, Part III: Horse Fiddles

This is the third part of a four part (I, II, IV) 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, the degree to which George R.R. Martin’s claim that the Dothraki are “an amalgam of a number of steppe … Continue reading Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part III: Horse Fiddles

Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVb: Work Hardening, or Hardly Working?

This week, we close out our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb, addendum) look at pre-modern iron and steel production, although I ought to note that there will be at least one addendum discussing pre-modern cast iron and crucible steel (Wootz) production. Last week, we looked at the processes used to create steel … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVb: Work Hardening, or Hardly Working?

Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part II: Big Farms

This is the second part (I, II, III, IV, A) of our look at the basic structure of food production (particularly grains to make bread) in the pre-modern world. Last week, we began by looking at the great majority of our rural population, the little farmers. Now I know everyone is eager to get to … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did They Make It? Part II: Big Farms

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VII: Hanging by a Thread

This is 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 … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VII: Hanging by a Thread

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part IV: Men of Rohan

This is the fourth 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. In the last part, we looked in some depth at the organization … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part IV: Men of Rohan

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part III: The Host of Saruman

This is the third 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. In our last part, we looked at the film-only cavalry engagement that … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part III: The Host of Saruman