Collections: Teaching Paradox, Europa Universalis IV, Part IV: Why Europe?

This is the fourth and last part of our series (I, II, III, IV) examining the historical assumptions of Europa Universalis IV, Paradox Interactive's historical grand strategy computer game set in the early modern period. Last time we looked at how Europa Universalis IV often struggles to reflect the early modern history of places and … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Europa Universalis IV, Part IV: Why Europe?

Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part II: Scouring in the Shire

This is the second part of our four part (I, III, IV) look at the production of textiles (particularly in wool and linen) in the pre-modern world. Last time, we took a look at the production of our two fibers, flax bast from the flax plant and raw wool sheared from sheep. This week we … Continue reading Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part II: Scouring in the Shire

Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part I: High Fiber

This week we are starting the first of a four (?) part look at pre-modern textile production. As with our series on farming and iron, we are going to follow the sequence of production from the growing of fibers all the way to the finished object, with a focus not merely on the methods of … Continue reading Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part I: High Fiber

Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVa: Steel Yourself

This week, we continue our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb, addendum) look at pre-modern iron and steel production. Last week, we looked at how a blacksmith reshapes our iron from a spongy mass called a bloom first into a more workable shape and then finally into some final useful object like a … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVa: Steel Yourself

Collections: Bread, How Did they Make it? Part III: Actually Farming

As the third part (I, II, III, IV, A) of our look at the basic structure of food production in the pre-modern world (particularly farming grain to make bread) we're going to finally look at how one actually farms grain to make bread. Now that we have all of our farmers in place, both the … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did they Make it? Part III: Actually Farming

Collections: Why Don’t We Use Chemical Weapons Anymore?

This week, we're going to talk briefly about why 'we' - and by 'we' here, I mean the top-tier of modern militaries - have generally eschewed the systematic or widespread use of chemical weapons after the First World War. And before you begin writing your comment, please note that the mountain of caveats that statement … Continue reading Collections: Why Don’t We Use Chemical Weapons Anymore?