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Leonidas V: The Reformer King

Most historians confine their commentary on Leonidas to his appearance and departure from the scene of history. His reign was, after all, quite short (ten years) and there were no known changes to Spartan territory or law, no works of art or monuments, not even any natural disasters that can be dated specifically to the reign of Leonidas. Show More Summary

Wilson on Stepfamilies in Boston, 2 Sept.

On Wednesday, 2 September, Lisa Wilson will speak at the New England Historic Genealogical Society on the topic of her latest book, A History of Stepfamilies in Early America. Here’s the purpose of this book:Stepfamilies are not a modern phenomenon, but despite this reality, the history of stepfamilies in America has yet to be fully explored. Show More Summary

DVR alert: Drunk History is back tonight!

The new season of Drunk History premieres on Comedy Central tonight at 10:30 EST. I’ve been a loyal viewer since it was on YouTube and while the transition to television was a little awkward — a sketch on the short-lived Funny or Die HBO show — it has found its footing on Comedy Central and [...]

The Split Personality of Ken Burns’s “The Civil War”

On September 7 PBS will broadcast Ken Burns’s The Civil War on what will be the 25th anniversary of its release. Burns hopes that the…

THE MOVING CITY: PROCESSIONS, PASSAGES AND PROMENADES IN ANCIENT ROME

Originally posted on Classics for All Reviews:Edited by Ida Östenberg, Simon Malmberg and Jonas Bjørnebye Bloomsbury Academic (2015) h/b 361pp £80 (ISBN 9781472528001) In 260 BC the successful general Gaius Duilius was granted torch bearers and flute players to accompany him home every night, to celebrate his military achievements in a perpetual nocturnal celebration.…

Sketches of Life in a Union POW Camp, by an Anonymous Confederate Prisoner

These sketches, by a Confederate prisoner kept at Point Lookout, Maryland, were made in 1864. The New-York Historical Society has digitized the artwork, which was preserved in the personal papers of Brigadier General James Barnes, the...Show More Summary

“A new Fire” in Newport

Yesterday I broke off the news from Newport with the resignation of Augustus Johnston as stamp-tax collector on the morning of 29 Aug 1765.The town did not stay calm, as the Newport Mercury reported: Next Morning the Stamp Master’s Resignation being publickly read, the People announced their Joy by repeated Huzza’s, &c. Show More Summary

Grand Apartheid

Under Apartheid, the South African government built on earlier discriminatory laws to segregate whole populations and deny black South Africans political rights.

How the state assigned race under Apartheid

Under Apartheid, your race determined everything, but legally, race was a matter of opinion. Here is how the state assigned everyone to a race.

Confederate Heritage in the Dog Days of Summer

My apologies for the lack of posts over the past week. I’ve been working on the book, getting my AAS seminar ready and spending time…

Retired electrician found guilty of holding stolen Picassos

Retired electrician Pierre Le Guennec and his wife Danielle have been convicted of possessing stolen goods, namely 271 drawings, collages and paintings by Pablo Picasso. The trove of previously unknown works came to light in September of 2010 when Pierre Le Guennec carried a suitcase full of them to the Picasso Administration to have them [...]

“They soon returned to the Charge with redoubled Fury”

Yesterday I quoted the 2 Sept 1765 Newport Mercury’s description of the Rhode Island capital’s anti-Stamp Act protest on 27 August. Locals hung up effigies of stamp agent Augustus Johnston and supporters Martin Howard, Jr. (shown here), and Dr. Show More Summary

Herbert Hoover’s World War I laces

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History has a collection of beautiful Belgian laces made during World War I at the behest of future President of the United States Herbert Hoover. Hoover’s name is nowadays most commonly associated with the lack of relief for the destitute of the Great Depression — the notorious tent [...]

Anti-Stamp Act Protests in Rhode Island

Public protests against the Stamp Act spread outside of Boston in August 1765 so quickly that I’ve fallen behind the sestercentennial anniversaries of those events.Since the Newport Historical Society is commemorating that port town’s protests with a reenactment today, I’m focusing on the events in Rhode Island. Show More Summary

Small but sweet Viking hoard declared treasure

A hoard of Viking-era silver ingots and coins discovered in Wales has been officially declared treasure at a coroner’s inquest. The hoard was found in March by metal detectorist Walter Hanks in a field in Llandwrog, north-west Wales. Consisting of fewer than 20 coins and coin fragments, three complete ingots and one partial, it’s a [...]

Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer takes new job at Hunter College; encouraged by Hillary Clinton

Harold Holzer, who is best known for his writing, co-authoring or editing some 50 books on President Abraham Lincoln, will begin a new day job on Sept. 1 as director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York. Holzer, who began his career as a newspaper reporter, recently retired from […]

Dreamy Early-20th-Century Photochroms of Scenery in the Swiss Alps

Printed in 1905 by the Michigan-based Detroit Publishing Company, this group of photochroms showcased the scenery of the Swiss Alps for consumers who might or might not have ever visited Switzerland in person. Photochroms are photolithographs, made by transferring a negative onto a printing plate. Show More Summary

Watching the Mob with Deacon Tudor

One of the most telling accounts of the mobbing of Lt. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson’s house on 26 Aug 1765 came from John Tudor (1709-1795), a merchant, marine insurance dealer, and deacon who lived nearby in the North End. After that event,...Show More Summary

Rossetti didn’t paint Botticelli lady’s hair red

A new restoration of Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Bandinelli (1470-5) by Sandro Botticelli has redeemed the reputation of a much later artist, Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The Lucille Ball hue of Smeralda’s hair was long thought to be an alteration done by Rossetti after he bought the painting in 1867. Experts [...]

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