Building the Iron Gates of Alexander: The Migrant Caravan & Geographies of Fear

Thousands of refugees are currently standing at the US-Mexico border. In their 2,500 mile journey from Central America, these women, children, and men from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have endured much in order to petition for a grant of asylum within the United States. As I have written about before, the concept of theContinue reading “Building the Iron Gates of Alexander: The Migrant Caravan & Geographies of Fear”

Eating Nocturnal Fruits: A Round-Up Of My Favorite Ancient and Medieval Posts of 2017

One of my favorite reflections on the act of writing was written by a late Roman historian, poet, and rhetorician from modern-day Bordeaux named Decimius Magnus Ausonius. Among many other works, he penned a treatise called the Fasti. In a note to his son, the author reflected on the act of picking and choosing historical events, andContinue reading “Eating Nocturnal Fruits: A Round-Up Of My Favorite Ancient and Medieval Posts of 2017”

Mapping Racism And Assessing the Success of the Digital Humanities

This week, The Chronicle of Higher Education published a piece (now behind a paywall) written by Prof. Timothy Brennan. In it, the digital humanities as a field is essentially assessed as a “bust.” A concluding critique seemed particularly harsh: “Rather than a revolution, the digital humanities is a wedge separating the humanities from its reason to existContinue reading “Mapping Racism And Assessing the Success of the Digital Humanities”

Were Pagan Temples All Smashed Or Just Converted Into Christian Churches?

This week over at the Forbes column [access it here], I discuss an article in the new volume of the Journal of Late Antiquity (10.1) It is a great piece of scholarship written by ancient historian Feyo L. Schuddeboom and is called “The Conversion of Temples in Rome.” The article effectively uses archaeological evidence for temple conversion within the cityContinue reading “Were Pagan Temples All Smashed Or Just Converted Into Christian Churches?”

Digital Palmyra: Resources for Researching the Ancient City

Yesterday on the Forbes blog, I discussed recent attempts to reconstruct the ancient busts of Palmyra damaged by ISIS and repatriate them back to Syria. As I suggested in the post, such efforts highlight the import of digital methodologies such as 3D printing and photogrammetry, but also underscore art as an umbilical cord that allows usContinue reading “Digital Palmyra: Resources for Researching the Ancient City”

To The Black Sea And Back: The Late Antique Dura-Europos ‘Shield’ Map

  Dura-Europos is an ancient site on the Euphrates river in modern-day Syria. The objects excavated at the site by Yale University (later famously led by Mikhail Rostovtzeff), and the French Academy of Inscriptions and Letters during the 1920s and 1930s provide some of the most vivid wall paintings, mosaics, and material culture from the ancient worldContinue reading “To The Black Sea And Back: The Late Antique Dura-Europos ‘Shield’ Map”

The Itinerarium Egeriae: Mapping Egeria’s Pilgrimage On Candlemas

In the Roman Catholic Church, the celebration held forty days after Christmas is the festival of Candlemas (February 2). Candlemas recognizes the presentation of Jesus in the temple and the purification of the Virgin Mary forty days after giving birth (Luke 2:22-29). This was in accordance with Jewish purity law (Lev. 12:4) which required women whoContinue reading “The Itinerarium Egeriae: Mapping Egeria’s Pilgrimage On Candlemas”

January 10, 49 BCE: Revising The Tale Of Caesar’s Crossing of the Rubicon

It was a great trip to the combined annual meeting for the Society for Classical Studies and Archaeological Institute of America (SCS-AIA) in Toronto, but it definitely put me behind on my blogging schedule. No matter! Welcome to a new year, pious readers, and with it comes a reflection on immutable actions over at Forbes. ForContinue reading “January 10, 49 BCE: Revising The Tale Of Caesar’s Crossing of the Rubicon”

Numbering The Stars: Remembering the Contributions of Medieval Muslim Astronomers And Catalogers

This week over at the Forbes blog, I discuss the International Astronomical Union (IAU)‘s publication of an official catalog of 227 star names. The list was published this week in order to further standardize how we reference stars and constellations, since each one has had numerous monikers in Greek, Roman, Chinese, Arabic and many other languages over the many millenia thatContinue reading “Numbering The Stars: Remembering the Contributions of Medieval Muslim Astronomers And Catalogers”

August 24, 79: An Hour-By-Hour Account Of Vesuvius’ Eruption On Its 1,937th Anniversary

At around noon on August 24, 79 CE, Mount Vesuvius began to erupt and spew ash and then pumice stones down on the towns below it. The eruption lasted well into the morning of August 25th. One of the towns demolished was Pompeii, but the cities of Herculaneum, Stabiae, Oplontis, and many others–some as farContinue reading “August 24, 79: An Hour-By-Hour Account Of Vesuvius’ Eruption On Its 1,937th Anniversary”