History is not a plant: Some thoughts on high school and undergraduate (ancient) history curricula

Originally posted on Everyday Orientalism:
Last September, a student enrolled in my 1st year undergraduate course “The Ancient Mediterranean World” came to me after the first class because he wanted to tell me that it was the first time he had heard that the ancient world was diverse and characterized by many cultural interactions. “So…

A Short Bibliography For The Study Of Eunuchs, Marginality & Gender in The Pre-Modern World

A number of people asked me to expand on my Forbes column from last week, which addressed the long history of eunuchs around the world and in Game of Thrones. This is a short reading list focused on scholarship in English for those wishing to begin to read about the subject. I am neither anContinue reading “A Short Bibliography For The Study Of Eunuchs, Marginality & Gender in The Pre-Modern World”

The History Of Torches, Intimidation & Symbols of Violence

You may have noticed that I have been blogging less on my personal site. This certainly is a product of a busy summer with much travel and other publications to address, but I am afraid that–in part–I must admit that it was a reaction to receiving messages and tweets suggesting that certain white supremacist groupsContinue reading “The History Of Torches, Intimidation & Symbols of Violence”

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”

Pass the Dormice: Breeding, Selling, And Eating Honeyed Dormice in Antiquity

Ponticuli etiamferruminati sustinebant glires melle ac papavere sparsos. “There were also dormice rolled in honey and poppy-seed, and supported on little bridges soldered to the plate” –Petronius, Satyricon, 31 (trans. Heseltine). Look, I know you may think mice are cute. I, myself, raised adorable hamsters as a child and thus have sympathy for all rodents. But weContinue reading “Pass the Dormice: Breeding, Selling, And Eating Honeyed Dormice in Antiquity”

The Argument Made By The Absence: On Whiteness, Polychromy, And Diversity In Classics

It has been a few days since I published a piece on my Forbes blog regarding the perception of whiteness and statues in antiquity. I knew when I started taking notes on the subject of polychromy many months ago that this column would likely cause a stir within the field, among colleagues, and online. I hadContinue reading “The Argument Made By The Absence: On Whiteness, Polychromy, And Diversity In Classics”

Legitimizing The Blog: On Reading, Citing & Archiving Blogposts

Over at the Forbes blog this week, I wrote about an issue within academic blogging that has been bugging me for a long time: Why aren’t more academic blogs cited in the footnotes of journal articles and within academic books? While there are certainly still specious blogs that abound on the web, the number of trusted,Continue reading “Legitimizing The Blog: On Reading, Citing & Archiving Blogposts”

Modeling the Tincu House: A New 3D Model from Roman Gabii

Over on the Forbes blog this week, I explore the new publication of an interactive 3D model for a mid-Republican house from the site of Gabii. The University of Michigan Press and the Gabii Project were kind enough to let me read the new e-publication, which links together maps, 3D models, an archaeological object database, andContinue reading “Modeling the Tincu House: A New 3D Model from Roman Gabii”

The widespread and persistent myth that it is easier to multiply and divide with Hindu-Arabic numerals than with Roman ones.

Originally posted on The Renaissance Mathematicus:
Last Sunday the eminent British historian of the twentieth century, Richard Evans, tweeted the following: Let’s remember we use Arabic numerals – 1, 2, 3 etc. Try dividing MCMLXVI by XXXIX ­– Sir Richard Evans (@Richard Evans36) There was no context to the tweet, a reply or whatever, so…