Karen Carr

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About Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
6 10, 2019

Afternoon at the Cloisters in NYC

By |2019-10-06T20:59:23-07:00October 6th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

I've been busy today touring the Cloisters museum in New York City, which is where a lot of the Metropolitan Museum's medieval collection lives. It's been a long time since I was there. We saw some great things, for sure! We saw a lot of interesting plants in their garden: a frankincense tree, a cinnamon [...]

4 10, 2019

New book: The Brothel of Pompeii

By |2019-10-06T20:51:22-07:00October 4th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

A barmaid brings a drink to two men sitting on chairs. The words show the men arguing about whose drink it is. (Caupona of Salvius, Pompeii, 79 AD) - this is not from the brothel of Pompeii, but it's an activity that did take place in the brothel. You need this book Check [...]

3 10, 2019

Vercingetorix surrenders to Julius Caesar #otd

By |2019-10-03T05:12:25-07:00October 3rd, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Nos ancĂȘtres les Gaulois... On October 3rd, 52 BC, the leader of the Gaulish forces, Vercingetorix, surrendered to the Roman general Julius Caesar, and Gaul fell under the control of the Roman Empire. (If you're wondering why there seems to be a rash of big military victories in the early fall, it's not a concidence. [...]

2 10, 2019

Saladin and Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem

By |2019-10-02T05:16:01-07:00October 2nd, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Saladin frees his captives On October 2nd, 1187, the Ayyubid sultan Saladin captured Jerusalem from the Crusaders after a long siege. Unlike the Crusaders, he didn't kill anybody, and instead freed most of the people in Jerusalem and made sure they had safe passage to another city still in Christian hands. He also let the [...]

1 10, 2019

Alexander and Gaugamela #onthisday

By |2019-10-01T08:17:51-07:00October 1st, 2019|blog|0 Comments

On this day, October 1st, 331 BC, Alexander of Macedon won the battle of Gaugamela against the Persian king Darius and his army. That was pretty much the end of armed Persian resistance to Alexander's takeover. From that point on, Darius was a fugitive, and Alexander ruled the Persian Empire. Who was Alexander of Macedon? [...]

30 09, 2019

Metaphors, paradigms, Classics, and Medieval Europe

By |2019-09-30T08:23:31-07:00September 30th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

I'm just feeling my way toward this at the moment, so please bear with me, but I feel like the public-facing articles I see fall into three categories which can usefully be considered separately. This is not a new development, but it's one we might want to consider changing. First category: serious history In the [...]

29 09, 2019

William the Conqueror 1066

By |2019-09-29T14:35:10-07:00September 29th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Well, I missed it yesterday, but September 28th was the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when William the Conqueror and the Normans attacked England and conquered King Harold, and then took over ruling England. He left his wife, Matilda, to rule his land in Normandy (in France) for him, and to take [...]

26 09, 2019

Impeachment and the Epic of Gilgamesh

By |2019-09-26T13:46:09-07:00September 26th, 2019|History|0 Comments

Impeachment and the Late Republic I've been reading an awful lot of articles drawing parallels between the end of the Roman Republic and what's going on now with the House of Representatives impeaching President Trump. Of course, there are parallels. Julius Caesar made the same sort of power grabs, acting like he was above the [...]

25 09, 2019

“Genius” grant for Homer translator

By |2019-09-25T17:45:54-07:00September 25th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

I was so excited to see today that Emily Wilson got a "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation! Congratulations, Professor Wilson! It's $625,000, distributed over five years, to do anything you want with. Some people use it to leave their jobs and work on what they love, other people use it to put on a [...]

24 09, 2019

Rosh Hashanah (Sunday-Tuesday)

By |2019-09-24T20:15:37-07:00September 24th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Shana Tova! Happy New Year! Sunday will (finally) be Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. If you're wondering why the Jewish new year doesn't line up with the calendar New Year, it's because people actually celebrate New Years at different times for different reasons. What is Rosh Hashanah? History of the Jews Why do we [...]