The Use and Abuse of History: A Syllabus

What follows is my syllabus for an undergraduate history majors course on the use and abuse of history. It is an attempt to use primary sources to teach students how to identify secondary misinformation, propaganda, omission, and weaponization of history. INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY MAJOR THE USE AND ABUSE OF HISTORY: MANIPULATING THE PAST TOContinue reading “The Use and Abuse of History: A Syllabus”

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?”

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”

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”

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”

G.I. Jones: Classical Archaeology, Military Balloons, and Early Aerial Photography

In 1898, famed Venetian architect Giacomo Boni was charged with leading new excavations in the Roman Forum (1899-1911) and on the Palatine hill. In order to get aerial photos, Boni enlisted the Italian military’s Brigata Specialisti military balloon, used by the Italian Corps of Engineers. He was amazed at the ability to more accurately draw and map theContinue reading “G.I. Jones: Classical Archaeology, Military Balloons, and Early Aerial Photography”