This week we are taking a look at the latest winner of the ACOUP Senate poll, which posed the question "Why didn't the Roman Empire have an industrial revolution?" To answer that, we need to get into some detail on what the industrial revolution itself was and the preconditions that produced it, as well as … Continue reading Collections: Why No Roman Industrial Revolution?
Last time, we introduced the factors that created the trench stalemate in the First World War and we also laid out why the popular 'easy answer' of simply going on the defensive and letting the enemy attack themselves to death was not only not a viable strategy in theory but in fact a strategy which … Continue reading Collections: No Man’s Land, Part II: Breaking the Stalemate
This is the second part of a three part series (I) examining the historical assumptions of Paradox Interactive's 19th and early 20th century grand strategy game, Victoria II. Last week, we looked at how Victoria II handles its central, defining theme, the industrial revolution, and the mechanics it employed. We also discussed how Victoria II … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II, Part II: The Ruin of War
Welcome! This is going to be the first of a new sort of post we'll do from time to time where I answer a number of shorter questions posed by my patrons over at Patreon who are at the Patres et Matres Conscripti tier, which entitles them to a seat in the ACOUP Senate (which … Continue reading Referenda ad Senatum: August 6, 2021: Feelings at the Fall of the Republic, Ancient and Medieval Living Standards, and Zombies!
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?
This is the second part of our four part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) 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 … Continue reading Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part II: Scouring in the Shire
This week we are starting the first of a four (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) 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 … Continue reading Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part I: High Fiber
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
Hey folks! Fireside this week - sorry for those of you who were waiting patiently for the last post on cereal farming. I had hoped to have it ready to go, but the start of fall semester teaching has pushed that off until next week. Those who pay less attention to higher education news may … Continue reading Fireside Friday: August 14th, 2020
Thanks to our helpful volunteer narrator, this entire post series is now also available in audio format! 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 … Continue reading Collections: Bread, How Did they Make it? Part III: Actually Farming