History

Statue of Julius Caesar

In 2013, the author of Commemorating Augustus conducted a survey in which people on the street in Leeds, UK, were asked: “We would like to find out which Roman emperors people are most familiar with. If I ask you to name a Roman emperor, what is the first name thatContinue Reading

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Death of Nero engraving

Wanted: Roman Emperor. Lifetime position. Unlimited benefits. Good grasp of military budgets essential. People skills encouraged. Good chance of assassination. Apply today! For all the power of the Roman emperors, they had a dismal survival rate. Only about 30% died of natural causes. Everyone else died of assassination, warfare, orContinue Reading

Signposts bearing flags of UK and EU

Even before Brexit, there were debates as to whether the UK should be described as a European country. On one hand, the UK is certainly culturally closer to European countries than, say, Asian ones. On the other hand, there are significant differences between UK and the rest of Europe.

Bus in Crater, London Blitz

In the early 19th century, this grand city became the first in the modern world* to reach a population of one million, and over the next 100 years, that number multiplied six times over.  By the mid-20th century, London was home to over 8 million people. Not that you’d thinkContinue Reading

Ashieldr, Doctor Who

In “The Woman Who Lived” this week on Doctor Who, the long-lived Ashildr explained how she gave up having children because she grew tired of burying them. Specifically, she lost three small children to the Black Death in the 14th century. The reality of most of history, however, is thatContinue Reading

Pompeii excavation site

Sometimes,, historical tragedy is the archaeologist’s best friend. Most cities slowly fade into obscurity as people gradually pack up their belongings and move away, chasing greener or safer pastures. The buildings they leave behind slowly crumble until there’s nothing left but foundations which often become buried by debris, newer construction,Continue Reading

Sir Nicholas Winton, a quiet civilian hero of World War II, has died at the age of 106. In a time of considerable disinterest in the Jewish plight, Winton rescued 669 Czech Jewish children, most of whom would have otherwise perished. In pre-World War II Europe, Jewish living conditions variedContinue Reading

Roman bathroom habits

There’s talk of late of where transgender people should go to the bathroom.  If you’re physically male, but you consider yourself female, do you use the men’s room or the ladies’ room?  What if you have gender reassignment surgery, so you’re physically a different gender than you were at birth?Continue Reading

St. Patrick stain glass window

I don’t actually have a lot to debunk about St. Patrick Day.  More like just giving up tidbits of information. Feast Day March 17 is the official feast day for St. Patrick.  Theoretically, it’s the date of his death.  In truth, we have no idea when he died, nor, toContinue Reading