medieval

Alien Guy from History Channel saying "Grain Storage"

BuzzFeed recently uncovered an old video of now-presidential hopeful Ben Carson expressing the belief that ancient Egyptian pyramids were granaries rather than the archeologically accepted explanation of them being tombs. When asked, Carson acknowledged that he still holds this belief. “My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramidsContinue Reading

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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

Bonnacon - Medieval monster that farts

Today’s page is dedicated to those fans who have wondered when I’m going to put up more bizarre historical art. About 300 years ago, some genius Japanese artist gave us He-Gassen, or “the fart war.”  I can’t make this up if I tried.  Not quite safe for work. And thenContinue Reading

Every semester a student asks me this question: how long did people live in ancient times? Was it really only 35 years? General life expectancy across the world for most of history was, indeed 35. However, “life expectancy” is a terribly imprecise term, giving the impression that any particular personContinue Reading

HERE THERE BE A FEW SPOILERS I’ve previously written about how alternative-history needs a basis in history.  Other forms of fiction frequently benefit as well, and Game of Thrones is no exception. Dragons and whitewalkers aside, George R.R. Martin wants Westeros to feel somewhat familiar to us.  He also wantsContinue Reading

Wolf and lion emblems

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS.  I HAVE NOT READ THE BOOKS, BUT THIS DISCUSSES EVENTS UP TO THE END OF SEASON 4. No matter how much I make up, there’s stuff in history that’s just as bad or worse. –George R.R. Martin All sorts of things influence writers: people they know,Continue Reading

St Augustine Objecting in Lombard's Gloss of the Psalms

Medieval marginalia is most known for being bizarre and offensive. It frequently is, but not always, particularly in earlier manuscripts. In the mid 12th century, Peter Lombard wrote a gloss of the psalms. That is, he created pages that displayed both the text of the Book of Psalms and hisContinue Reading